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D'Youville College pioneers new type of food mission to help WNY hungry

The "FoodFarmacy," a collarborative program with Catholic Health, FeedMore WNY, and D'Youville, looks to educate the public about food - while feeding them too.
Posted at 5:45 PM, Oct 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-25 17:45:00-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The "FoodFarmacy" wants to help the hungry of Western New York, but according to its staff and volunteers - its not a food pantry.

"Yes, of course, we are giving out food, but its much more than that. This is about quality over quantity, said Christ Nentarz, the Director of the Thrive Wellness Center at D'Youville College.

The FoodFarmacy has been a work in progress for the last two years. Nutritional experts from Catholic Health, in combination with educators from D'Youville and outreach from Feedmore WNY have combined to create a program focused on improving the overall quality of life of its participants, not just filling their stomachs.

"We will offer consultations, educational programs, and counseling - everything - so people aren't just getting a bag of groceries and walking out the door," said Katie Vassaw, a first-year D'Youville College graduate student in the anatomy program. Katie is one of many student volunteers at the FoodFarmacy who was drawn into to the holistic approach the center is taking to health care.

"This program will help our hungry families know what their eating, why they're eating it, how to continue to eat healthy, and how to do so when they can't afford it. We don't want people going to the McDonald's option - feeding their family of 6 for $20," she added - also mentioning that she plans on continuing this work outside of the FoodFarmacy when its time for her to move on.

To become a part of the program, all you have to do is walk in. The FoodFarmacy is located in the newly renovated "Hub" in the center portion of the D'Youville College campus, at 301 Connecticut St.

The center will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning on October 26th, during normal school hours.

In addition, if you would like to volunteer at the center or donate either food or other goods and services, you can stop by the center or reach out via the website, here.