Catholic Charities of Buffalo was the lucky recipient of a local six-year-old girl’s generosity. Camryn Sireika, a student at Notre Dame Academy in South Buffalo, recently told her mother she wanted to organize a food drive so that no one would have to go hungry.
“She came up with the idea all on her own,” said mom Becca Sireika. “So, I figured during this Easter season, why not make her dreams come true with this very kind, caring and do-able request?”
With some help from Catholic Charities, the food drive took place Saturday, March 13, at the organization’s Russell J. Salvatore Food Pantry and Outreach at 75 Caldwell Pl., Lackawanna. From 10 a.m. to noon, Camryn, Becca and Catholic Charities staff welcomed a procession of donations, and at the conclusion of the event, approximately 3,000 pounds of food had been donated – including much sought-after pantry items such as scalloped potatoes, cake mixes and condiments.
“The generosity of the Lackawanna community was apparent through the food drive. Camryn’s heart influenced so many to give. The food drive will help the Russell J. Salvatore Food Pantry give clients a little extra in the food packages we give, which will be greatly appreciated,” said Carolyn Stewart, supervisor of Catholic Charities’ food pantries and thrift stores. “Additionally, the wide variety of the food donated was incredibly helpful. It’s nice to be able to offer items we don’t regularly receive, especially during this pandemic. We know it will make the Easter holiday that much brighter for our clients.”
Aside from the food collected, Camryn also raised $5,611 for Catholic Charities, and gathered an additional $1,530 in donations from City of Lackawanna Mayor Annette Iafallo, Lackawanna Fire Department, Lackawanna Police Department and the Lackawanna Department of Public Works, to purchase food for the pantry.
Catholic Charities operates nine food pantries throughout Western New York. Last year, the food pantries served more than 7,600 people. For more information on the agency's pantries, please visit ccwny.org/food.