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On Our Hearts

57,109 Total Individuals Served 2020 - 281,845 Total Meals Served 2020 - To put these numbers in perspective in 2019, Total Number of Individuals Served was 14,000

Every January, Hearts reflects back on the people we’ve served and programs we’ve carried out during the previous year. This past year represented the start of a “new hope” for Hearts – a hope to reach more people in need than ever before, especially as we recognized the great need in our local community. This “new hope” manifested even before the pandemic arrived. But the pandemic gave us all the more reason to move forward.

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31 NIV

The numbers above reflect the people we have served, fed, and reached out to through Hearts Mobile Soup Kitchen, Hearts Harvest Food Pantry and Mobile Food Pantry. We never thought the numbers of individuals served would have been this large. We feel blessed and used by God to have been able to reach them while at the same time saddened to see the masses in our own backyard hungry and needy.

One year ago, December, we opened Hearts Harvest Food Pantry and in that first year, the food pantry (including the mobile food pantry) served 23,551 individuals and 122,553 meals. We expect the numbers to climb in 2021 as more families learn about the pantry.

BAGGED GROCERIES
Following COVID standards, our food pantry serves the community through bagged groceries and other meal kit distributions.
stephanie bagging groceries
Volunteer Stephanie is a huge help to our Food Pantry.

The poor and homeless that we feed at the Buffalo and Erie County Library downtown remains consistent in their need; the total number we feed inches up each year. We remain faithful to those who depend on Hearts being there with a dinner meal.

weds team bus
Volunteer Mobile Crews faithfully serve, feed, and reach those who stand in line nightly who depend on our services.

Added to our numbers served last year are the agencies we have been supporting by providing meals for those that they have been housing during COVID.

harbor house meal delivery
Hearts partners with agencies that house the homeless by providing meals.

Since many of our programs were new last year, it’s hard to know whether COVID affected the total number of people served. In 2021, as the pandemic finally runs its course and the vaccine takes effect, we might find that answer. But no matter which way the numbers go, we will continue to serve beyond COVID, the agencies housing the homeless, along with our other programs mentioned above.

In carrying out our “new hope” to serve more people in need, we will also continue to look for other opportunities to fight against hunger and poverty in order to keep our communities cared for, fed, and in good spirits. We hope to form new partnerships with other agencies, as well as keep our eyes and ears open to calls for help.

Thank you to all of you who are standing with us in support of what we are doing, and for the sake of loving your neighbor. May 2021 be a year of “peace that passes all understanding in Christ Jesus.”

Thrift Shop News

As we approach 2021, our prayer for you is
to stay healthy and safe. 

“The Lord Bless you and keep you.”

Numbers 6:24

Remember, when you shop you are supporting our outreach to the homeless, poor and local community.

xmas meal
“Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter” ~Isaiah 58:7

Lives Touched Last Month

December 2020

Total Clients Served: 1,795
Homeless: 1,593
Male: 1,171
Female: 75
Seniors: 22
Children: 3
Meal Bags for Buffalo Dream Center Outreach: 400

Talk from the Street and Heart

xmas eve dinner line

Our partnership with the Buffalo Dream Center to hold an Annual Christmas Eve Dinner every year was challenged this year by COVID. But we prevailed and held it outside at Fireman’s Park down the street from where we feed the poor and homeless at the Buffalo & Erie County Library. Everyone received a take away meal, enjoyed music, festive fellowship, and a message from Pastor Eric. They also received personal bags of the homemade Christmas cookies that many of you made for this event.

xmas eve dinner
Everyone enjoyed the Christmas Eve dinner regardless of the COVID restrictions to be outside.
xmas eve dinner line
Dinner guests line up for the Christmas Eve dinner. 

Thank you to everyone who baked Christmas Cookies for this event. The cookies are always a welcomed treat because it gives us the opportunity to give each guest a take-away bag or two so they can remember the good time they had long after the dinner is over.

volunteers bag up xmas cookies
little boy with xmas cookies
This little boy was so proud to deliver the cookies he made to give to the poor and homeless for Christmas.

Because we had such a big turn-out of those who baked cookies, we were also able to deliver cookies to the following agencies to spread the “holiday cookie cheer” to the communities they serve: Holy Cross Homeless Shelter, Table of Grace Homeless Feeding Program, The Magdalene Project in Niagara Falls.

xmas church youth group
Youth groups set aside time to make cookies and special treats with messages.
xmas eve meals for holy cross

Hearts was also able to take Christmas Eve dinners and sweets to Holy Cross Homeless Shelter for the homeless guests that we feed there on a regular basis. What a blessing for them to be able to take part in their own Christmas celebration at the shelter.

christmas bags kids

Hearts street outreach at the Library was also filled with Christmas celebrations as the Mobile Crew teams and visiting groups handed out personal care bags, treat bags with inspirational messages, new blankets, warm winter wear, and so much more!

angel christmas care bag

Thank you to everyone who participated in helping the underserved population enjoy the holiday season.

Hearts Harvest Food Pantry

One year-ago December, Hearts opened a food pantry to serve the 14207 area. During COVID, we were able to help others outside of our zip code affected by COVID. We have helped hundreds of people. Our pantry staff and volunteers welcome those in the community who need the help from a food pantry to feed their families, Monday 12 to 4; and Fridays 10 to 2 at Hearts at 890 Tonawanda St., Riverside.

In December, Hearts Harvest Food Pantry Served 16,263 Meals.
HouseholdsInfantsToddlersChildrenAdultsSeniorsIndividuals
56746905341,074631,807
volunteer stephanie in pantry
Hearts Mobile Food Pantry will start up again on February 5th, then going forward, it will be every 1st Friday of the month from 1:30pm to 3:30pm behind DePaul Apartments at 238 Ontario St., Riverside. The community can come as often as we have them as a supplement to our onsite food pantry. It’s a special time for them and the fresh produce, dairy, and other quality food is a blessing for them. Everyone leaves happy and appreciative.

In December, Hearts Harvest Food Pantry Served 1,103 Individuals.
HouseholdsInfantsToddlersChildrenAdultsSeniorsIndividuals
3562088321605691,103

 

mobile food pantry
IMMEDIATE FOOD NEEDS HOMELESS OUTREACH: CANNED BEEF STEW, CHILI, BAKED BEANS, CANNED CARROTS, KIDNEY BEANS, PARMESAN CHEESE. We cannot accept expired or opened containers of food.

In keeping our pantry stocked with canned goods for the hot meals we serve on the street, we can use your help to continue our outreach to the COVID homeless shelters and to those who come to the Downtown Library. If you would like to organize a food drive or donate needed food items, listed below is what our immediate needs are.

For a complete list of needed food items, please call or email our office at 716-877-3536; 

office@heartsforthehomeless.org, or go to our website at www.heartsforthehomeless.org

 

Clothing Donations

Hearts for the Homeless donation bin

We are so grateful for all of your donations. We also have a bin onsite at our outreach center at 890 Tonawanda Street; you can find the bins located in your area by going to our website at www.heartsforthehomeless.org, click on Bin Finder, put in your zip code and those in your area will appear. 

Hearts follows strict COVID regulations; please note that some of the photos in this newsletter were taken pre-COVID.

If you would like to download a printable pdf, please click here:
Nourishing the Community through Dignified Service - January 2021 - Hearts for the Homeless