BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — On Thursday, FeedMore WNY received a $50,000 grant to help 12 area food pantries.
Catherine Shick from FeedMore WNY said one in eight people are considered food insecure in the region.
“So many people were thrust into needing food assistance as a result of the pandemic and that need has not gone away,” Shick said. “There is no ‘one face’ of who may need food assistance, we serve people of all walks of life.”
The grant will help food pantries buy equipment.
“Not only is nutritious food needed, but equipment is also necessary,” Shick said. “You don’t necessarily think of instilling things like coolers and shelving units and carts, but those items are just as critical to be sure our pantries are succeeding.”
She said during the pandemic, many pantries had to shift to a ‘pre-pack’ model, but as restrictions ease and with the help of the grant, pantries have been able to re-establish the ‘client choice model.’
“It allows them to shop the pantry as if they were shopping a grocery store for the food they want,” Shick said.
The food pantry at New Covenant Church in Kenmore was one to receive money from the grant. It allowed them to buy fridges and freezers so the pantry can keep food fresh as clients shop.
Pastor Kent Arneth said they help 70 to 80 families weekly.
“Some come twice a month, sometimes once a month,” Arneth said. “But there are always new people coming in.”
Arneth said he meets three to five new families a week who need food assistance.
“I’m never happy when someone has to come to the food pantry but I’m glad they’re here because God has provided us with a lot of stuff,” Arneth said.
In addition to food the pantry also has items like beauty supplies, necessities for babies and medicine.
“People come to the pantry thinking there’s someone who needs it more than them," Arneth said. "And I assure them there’s plenty for them and for anyone else who comes."
The pantry at New Covenant Church is open every Thursday from noon to 4 PM. You can find eligibility guidelines here.