Hempstead, NY --Taking a brief break from their preparations for this Sunday's home match against the Wolfpack of North Carolina State, the 18th-ranked Hofstra Pride wrestling team volunteered at the Food Bank For New York City and packed 5,700 pounds of food to be distributed throughout the five boroughs of New York City.

Pride Head Wrestling Coach Tom Shifflet, his staff and student-athletes volunteered on Wednesday and Thursday at The Food Bank's 90,000 square foot warehouse in Hunts Point, Bronx, to break down items, repackage food and non-food products, and stack the boxes into sizes suitable for distribution to the city's soup kitchens and food pantries. The Pride's 5,700 pounds of food will provide approximately 4,385 meals to the needy.

"While we are in the middle of our season, I think that it is important that we take stock of all the gifts that we have and help those less fortunate," Shifflet said. "Our team was honored to be able to help the great people at the Food Bank in their mission to provide free food to the city's hungry. Every member of our team was humbled by the experience and we look forward to returning to help in the future."

Last year, volunteers donated more than 14,000 hours at the Food Bank for New York City and repacked food that helped supply more than 600,000 meals for hungry New Yorkers. This need is filled by groups of 10 to 30 volunteers from corporations, schools, nonprofits and other organizations. Volunteers are needed between 9:30am and 3:30pm, Mondays through Fridays. Most groups help for a two to three hour shift.

Food Bank For New York City was founded in 1983 to address the growing needs of people seeking emergency food assistance in New York City. In July 2007, FoodChange, Inc. became a subsidiary of the Food Bank. Over the years, the Food Bank has experienced dramatic growth in the areas of food distribution, operations, programs and research to better serve our network of community food programs - and ultimately the people in New York City who rely on the food that the Food Bank provides.

There are more than three million New Yorkers who have difficulty affording food - an astounding number and one that continues to increase as the donated food supply drops to an all-time low and energy and fuel costs skyrocket. To address this issue, the Food Bank procures and distributes food to a network of more than 1,000 food assistance programs citywide. In addition, the Food Bank provides food safety and capacity-building workshops; manage school nutrition education programs, after-school and emergency food programs; conduct food stamp prescreening and outreach; operate a senior food program, soup kitchen and food pantry; coordinate the largest Free Tax Assistance Program in the country; and develop policy and conduct research to inform community and government efforts to end food poverty throughout New York City.

As an independent, nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, the Food Bank meets the Better Business Bureau's charity standards. The Food Bank recently received its fourth, consecutive four-star rating from Charity Navigator for effective and fiscally responsible management of our organization. Only 6 percent of charities rated have received at least four consecutive four-star evaluations, demonstrating our continued commitment to responsibly addressing the issue of food poverty. For every dollar donated to the Food Bank, 96 cents goes toward food acquisition, distribution and programs. The Food Bank is a certified member of both Feeding America and the Food Bank Association of New York State.