New funding to help provide nutritious meals to needy men, women and children
The Buffalo City Mission recently announced its acceptance of a $58,000 grant through its partnership with Meals on Wheels for WNY from The John R. Oishei Foundation to provide more nutritious meals to men, women and children in need. With the new collaboration, the City Mission will offer meals with improved nutritional content to meet the requirements of the Child and Adult Food Program, ensuring all beneficiaries are properly fed.
"With obesity and diabetes on the rise across the nation, particularly in our poorest communities, its more important than ever before to ensure that all people have access to nutritious meals," Buffalo City Mission Executive Director and CEO Stuart L. Harper said. "Over the years, we have seen a dramatic increase in health-related problems such as bone and joint problems, diabetes and obesity with those of whom we serve due to poor eating habits and high-sodium foods. That is why we contracted with Meals on Wheels for WNY to have them begin to prepare nutritious food to help combat this array of health problems. By providing proper nutrition, these risk factors can be significantly lowered."
With new serving, loading and transportation units provided through the grant from The John R. Oishei Foundation, the City Mission will be better equipped to provide even more meals than the 215,000 served this past year.
As poverty and unemployment increase, so does food insecurity and the cost of food, which is reflected in the 4.2-percent increase in meal utilization the agency saw last year. The City Mission will still need community support to help provide resources through food and clothing drives so it can continue to help meet the need of those who seek food and clothing from its community pantry and Agape Shop.
A 2012 study revealed poor dietary nutrition was attributed to more than 33 percent of overweigh children and adolescents, while the 2014 National Diabetes Statistic Report counted a staggering 21 million people diagnosed with diabetes. With the help of Meals on Wheels, the City Mission can maintain its focus on its core competencies of providing shelter and administering care and case management to the homeless in the Western New York community, while at the same time providing healthy meals.
"We are honored to be the City Mission's community food partner," said Tara A. Ellis, president and CEO of Meals on Wheels for WNY. "The community kitchen at Meals on Wheels was always intended to meet the hunger needs of those most-vulnerable members of our community, and this partnership expands our opportunity to share the expertise of our talented registered dietitians and chefs and maximize the use of our state-of-the-art facility."
About The Buffalo City Mission
The Buffalo City Mission, founded in 1917, is a not-for-profit organization that provides preventative, emergency and long-term recovery services to thousands of people who are homeless or impoverished. For more information, or to partake in a tour of the facilities, visit www.buffalocitymission.org or call 716-854-8181, ext. 401.
About The John R. Oishei Foundation
The John R. Oishei Foundation strives to be a catalyst for change to enhance economic vitality and quality of life for the Buffalo Niagara region through grantmaking, leadership and network building. John R. Oishei, founder of Trico Products Corp., established it in 1940.
About Meals on Wheels for WNY
Since it's founding in 1969, the Meals on Wheels for WNY mission has been focused on the most basic, most critical of home needs. Meals on Wheels staff and volunteers are committed to enriching lives and promoting independent, healthy living by offering nutritious food and a friendly visit. Its vision is to ensure every member of the community will receive a meal that meets their nutritional needs.
Meals on Wheels for WNY serves approximately 900,000 meals each year to seniors and disabled individuals who are homebound, plus 250,000 meals a year to those healthy and mobile enough to get to a congregate center for a meal. For more information, visit www.mealsonwheelswny.org.