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FeedMore WNY, Buffalo Zoo, SUNY Erie to receive year-end COVID-19 relief

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Posted at 11:08 AM, Dec 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-29 11:08:06-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Erie County Executive's Office announced Monday three local organizations would receive year-end COVID-19 relief.

FeedMore WNY, Buffalo Zoo and SUNY Erie will receive a total of $1.8 million in year-end COVID-19 Relief Funding (CRF) prior to the December 30 deadline for the use of the funds.

Officials say Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz directed the county Division of Budget and Management to reach out to local organizations to determine if the remaining CRF could be used to assist them.

FeedMore WNY will receive $677,563.73 in CRF, officials say it has seen a massive increase in demand for food assistance. Funding will be used to reimburse FeedMore for emergency food distribution, additional staff, hazard pay, PPE and infection control costs.

The Buffalo Zoo will recieve $363,979.97 in CRF, officials say over 68% of its budget is spent on fixed costs for animal welfare even when no visitors are allowed in the facility. Funding will be used to reimburse the zoo for various COVID-related improvements and staffing changes.

SUNY Erie will receive $846,498 in CRF, official say it has seen a decrease in enrollment and has had to implement COVID-19 control measures. Funding will be used to reimburse SUNY Erie for their COVID-19 expenditures.

“Extending this funding to these organizations will help them to continue operations despite the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has presented,” said Poloncarz. “2020 has been a difficult year for everyone, and while it is late in the year it’s not too late to help. The Zoo, SUNY Erie and FeedMore WNY will put this funding to good use.”