One of the very best things about the Southern Tier is the way that our community rallies around its own when times are tough. Sure, sometimes ignorance seeps through the cracks, but that happens everywhere and in this community, that ignorance is quickly squashed by those who genuinely care about our community and her people.

For over 20 years, radio stations 98.1 The Hawk, 99.1 The Whale, 1290 WNBF, and Kiss 104.1 have joined forces with CHOW (the Community Hunger Outreach Program) to host the single largest food drive in the Southern Tier, collecting non-perishable food to help feed our neighbors, young and old, who are facing hunger this coming winter season. Our Food-A-Bago food drive has always been successful, but thanks to a man named Andy Kipp, we've been able to help even more neighbors in recent years.

Kipp owns the Old Union Hotel in Binghamton and a few years ago, he had the brilliant idea that he should fill a shopping cart with food, donate it to the Food A Bago food drive, and then challenge other business owners to match his donation by having us call them out by name on the radio. Just like that, the "Shopping Cart Challenge" was born. What started as a challenge between business owners has morphed into something incredible and now includes churches, schools, law enforcement agencies, government officials, sports teams and even individuals.

We'd like to join Andy Kipp and officially challenging you to participate in this year's "Shopping Cart Challenge" to benefit CHOW. Donations will stay right here in the Southern Tier and will be given to our neighbors who are going through rough times and need a little extra support.

Our Food-A-Bago food drive will take place from 6:00 a.m. Monday, November 4th to 8:00 a.m. Monday, November 11th. We'll be collecting non-perishable donations at the Hillcrest RV, which will be parked in the parking lot at Weis Market on Upper Front Street in Binghamton. Our donation hours will be as follows:

→ Monday, November 4th to Friday, November 8th from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
→ Saturday, November 9th, and Sunday, November 10th from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
→ Monday, November 11th- 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.

Don't have time to shop? You can donate cash or a check made out to Music for the Mission. For every dollar that you donate, CHOW will be able to provide FOUR meals!

Food donations will also be accepted starting on Monday, November 4th at Gary's-U-Pull-It at 230 Colesville Rd, Binghamton and at these Subway locations:

721 Upper Court St., Binghamton
1007 Union Center Highway, Endicott
33 Court Street, Binghamton
1175 Vestal Ave, Binghamton
187 Main Street, Binghamton
193 Robinson Street, Binghamton
3801 Vestal Parkway E., Vestal
4700 Vestal Parkway E., Vestal
47 Riverside Drive, Johnson City
2969 US Highway 11, Whitney Point
519 Hooper Rd., Endwell
160 Vestal Parkway E., Vestal
365 Harry L Dr., Johnson City
1805 Vestal Pkwy E., Vestal
1332-1336 Upper Front St., # 1, Binghamton

You can also make a monetary donation through Kipp's First Ward Charities Facebook page. For every $1 you donate, First Ward Charities will donate $2, up to $1,000.