BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Six months ago, Meals on Wheels and the Food Bank of Western New York joined forces and FeedMore WNY was born.
Six months later, work continues to make the most of that partnership.
“There are always increased efficiencies, whether that means better buying power for the two organizations coming together as one. Of course, we’re sharing our talent and resources now,” said Catherine Shick, Communications Director for FeedMore WNY.
Already, the partnership has allowed both legacy organizations to make a bigger impact in the community. “We’re currently on phase one of a lot of initiatives, but we’re seeing success already in these initiatives,” Shick said.
For instance, they’ve already implemented more comprehensive senior feeding programs, and he Backpack program, which sends food home on the weekends to thousands of kids in Western New York, is now able to feed kids over the summer, too, because of FeedMore WNY.
“We are hard at work making FeedMore WNY’s initiatives happen,” Shick said. “We are continuing to expand our Food Bank and Meals on Wheels programs that everyone is familiar with, but we’re also adding on new initiatives.”
One of those new initiatives is a workforce development program that is currently in its development phase.
FeedMore WNY leaders are looking at other models around the country to figure out the best way to use a community kitchen to teach culinary skills to people with high barriers to employment, to help lift more people out of poverty.
“So this is going to be a good opportunity for individuals to learn hard skills such as cooking, food preparation, and food safety skills that they can take into the workplace, but also soft skills like how to interview well, how to write a resume, how to prepare for an interview,” Shick explained.
FeedMore WNY has a lot of big plans to feed more people in the community, and while they are still trying to make sure community members are informed about the merged organization and what it does, FeedMore reps say they’ve already seen an overwhelmingly positive response.
“It is always great to have these resources in place as we continue our mission of offering dignity, hope, and a brighter future for our neighbors in need,” Shick said.
Of course, more help is always needed.
You can help the Food Bank of Western New York by calling 852-1305 or visiting www.foodbankwny.org
You can help Meals on Wheels for Western New York by calling 822-2002 or visiting mealsonwheelswny.org
A consolidated FeedMore WNY website is in the works.