Rochester In Focus: Small Business Council holds annual Thanksgiving food drive

Every year, cardboard boxes fill News10NBC’s lobby and hallways. That’s because we’re one of many businesses taking part in the Small Business Council’s annual Thanksgiving Appeal.

As part of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business Council is led by President Greg Miller who explained to News10NBC’s Emily Putnam how the annual appeal works, and why it means so much to families on Thanksgiving.

"Businesses can sign up online to participate," said Miller. "We provide boxes, the businesses can fill the boxes up with food, we have a food checklist of all the things that need to go in the box, and then on Friday the 19th of November, we have volunteers in trucks and cars go around to local businesses that have volunteered to provide the food boxes. We pick them up, and we stage them all at Frontier Field, then on Saturday we usually have 4 to 5 trucks filled with food boxes, and volunteers follow those trucks to community organizations that we provide the food boxes to."

Once the boxes make it to local non-profits, they are given out to families in need. Last year when fewer people were working in-person in their offices, the SBC got a different kind of support from the community.

"Last year we received over $80,000 in cash donations from the Rochester communtiy for this Thanksgiving appeal," said Miller. "We in turn used that to purchase some food boxes, and we also just turned that cash and donated directly back to the organizations that receive our food boxes.. they were beyond thrilled as you can imagine, you know, going through this pandemic a lot of families are negatively impacted, so the need doesn’t go away, but they’re very thankful for what our program provides."

If you’re interested in putting together a food box for the SBC’s Thanksgiving appeal this year, click here for the list of food items and for more information on the food drive. You have until Friday, November 19th to fill up a box.

Or, you can make a monetary donation to the Thanksgiving appel by clicking here.