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M&T Bank Helps Hearts Continue Mission

The M&T Charitable Foundation strives to strengthen our communities by providing support for a diverse range of civic, cultural, health and human service organizations through grants, employee volunteerism and in-kind services. They seek to improve the communities we live in. The M&T Charitable Foundation has generously supported organizations throughout the community year after year.

In December of 2023, Hearts for the Homeless® was awarded two grants totaling $20,000 from the The M&T Charitable Foundation. These grants will help us continue our mission in helping the local community by feeding the poor and homeless. 

In serving the poor and meeting the needs of our local community, Hearts has three client-choice food pantries. The first grant that was awarded for $10,000 will help with the operations of these three pantries that provide groceries to those in need. Hearts Harvest Food Pantry serves the Riverside area of 14207. Hearts Food Pantry Express is our newest outreach program that has brought two additional client-choice food pantries into Western New York in July of 2023. One site location serves on Kenmore Ave in Kenmore and the other site location serves on Saratoga Rd in the Cleveland-Hill area. At all three of our pantries we serve fresh grocery items, build relationships with our clients, and offer support to our neighbors. The Hearts Harvest Food Pantry served 20,721 individuals in 2023 and Hearts Food Pantry Express has served 2,164 individuals since the launch in mid July 2023.

The second grant, also awarded for $10,000, will go towards feeding the poor and homeless through the Hearts Mobile Soup Kitchen and our homeless shelter partnerships. For the last 33 years, our clients have depended on Hearts Mobile Soup Kitchen to be at the Buffalo & Erie County Library in downtown Buffalo, where we park a shuttle bus 5 nights each week. As we drive up, a line has already formed of those ready to be served a meal along the Ellicott St side of the building. We are feeding the chronic homeless, poor, as well as families that do not have enough food in the fridge. We saw a steady increase of clients served each month in 2023, but over the summer we saw an incredible increase in clients. In August 2023 we served 2,041 individuals which is a 198% increase from January 2023.

In addition to our Mobile Soup Kitchen, we have several partnerships with homeless shelters around Western New York to provide meals to their guests. This partnership has helped strengthen the shelters in allowing their resources and donations to be used to shelter and serve their clients; helping to relieve that burden of rising food costs and meal preparation. Hearts is the evening meal provider for both Code Blue shelters in Erie County serving on average 150 Code Blue nights per season. The shelters house 150 guests per night and we are projected to serve about 22,500 meals through the 2023-2024 season.

To share in a philosophy of service, there is a great deal of hope for the future. Together, Hearts for the Homeless® and The M&T Charitable Foundation are seeking to improve our communities one meal at a time. We are incredibly grateful for their continued support over the years.

To serve is to care for more than just ourselves. –Philippians 2 ESV