FeedMore WNY received a $50,000 grant from the Morgan Stanley Foundation to provide Western New York families in need the ability to choose from available foods or food boxes at partner food pantries. The funds provided an opportunity for 12 area food pantries in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties to reintroduce elements of choice at distributions, while still maintaining safety protocols due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A press release noted, “The client choice model provides more healthy options and ensures families have access to foods aligned with their preferences and dietary requirements.
“As a result of the pandemic, several area food pantries had to suspend offering client choice to the families they served in order to adhere to safety protocols and limit in-person contact. Instead of shopping a pantry for groceries to take home at no cost, many families were provided a prepacked box of food that could not take into account personal preferences or dietary restrictions.”
FeedMore WNY, a member of the Feeding America network, is one of 28 member hunger-relief organizations to receive this funding from the Morgan Stanley Foundation. As a result of the grant, FeedMore WNY was able to provide critical equipment, including shelving, carts, freezers, refrigerators and PPE, to partner food pantries so that they could reintroduce client choice to community members in need.
“FeedMore WNY is grateful to the Morgan Stanley Foundation for this grant to help reestablish client choice at many of our partner food pantries. The client choice model provides dignity to community members, allowing them to select the food items that their families will enjoy. It also helps reduce food waste, since clients will not have to discard food they cannot use due to allergies or dietary restrictions,” said Tara A. Ellis, president and CEO of FeedMore WNY. “We were pleased to help our pantries secure the critical equipment they needed in order to provide this service to our neighbors in need.”
The press release noted, “Feeding America supports member food banks in identifying appropriate ways to engage families experiencing food insecurity during the reintroduction of the client choice model. In addition, it captures key learnings and identifies opportunities to help other member food banks reinstate elements of choice to their work.”
"For 60 years, the Morgan Stanley Foundation has been dedicated to ensuring children received the healthy start to life they deserve – and ensuring they have access to healthy and nutritious food is a crucial part of that commitment,” said Joan Steinberg, global head of philanthropy at Morgan Stanley. “Given the challenges that we’ve seen exacerbated by the pandemic over the past year, we are pleased to build upon our decade-long partnership with Feeding America to help fight hunger through this impactful choice model in the communities where we live and work.”
Morgan Stanley has a longstanding commitment to helping communities facing hunger and has donated more than $38 million to the Feeding America network in the last decade.
FeedMore WNY offers dignity, hope and a brighter future by providing nutritious food, friendship and skills training to its Western New York neighbors in need. Through its food bank distribution center and partner hunger-relief agencies, as well as its home-delivered meal program, other targeted feeding programs and RISE workforce development training, FeedMore WNY alleviates hunger and assists community members of all ages throughout Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties. More information can be found at www.feedmorewny.org.