On October 7th of this year, Hearts for the Homeless made a big stride in our goal to nourish the community with a ribbon-cutting celebration for our newest building adjacent to our thrift store on Tonawanda Street. This new, permanent location will be a tremendous help in lending a multi-purpose space for the residents of Buffalo. After receiving feedback from the community and other agencies, the Hearts Harvest Food Pantry and Café will be home to a client choice food pantry, a cafe, and a can and bottle recycling center. Meal preparation and financial lessons will also be available.
Client Choice Food Pantry
According to census data, more than 1,000 households in the 14207 ZIP code are not receiving the food assistance they qualify for, or they are traveling significant distances in order to receive help elsewhere. The Hearts Harvest Food Pantry hopes to provide for those families, but we also hope to maintain our client’s dignity. That’s why our food pantry will offer a program like no other utilizing a “client choice” distribution.
The Hearts Harvest Food Pantry will allow those in need to freely select the items suited to their family’s specific needs. Patrons of the food pantry will be greeted by a shopping assistant who will guide them through the store and help them choose what meets their needs while staying within the boundaries set for quantities allowed per family size.
During the food pantry’s operating hours, the Hearts Harvest Café will offer discounted and free items from the café to create inclusion and help foster relationships. Outside of food pantry hours, the café will serve as a comfortable meeting place for the community to relax and enjoy café style beverages and snacks at a fair price. Free books, games, and toys will also be offered. All of the proceeds will go directly back to the ministry to help serve even more people.
This new building will certainly be a place for the community to gather and commune. We plan to encourage and invite nutritionists and local chefs from around Buffalo to help families and individuals understand the value of meal planning, and nutritional habits. Hearts is also partnering with M&T Bank to help people learn financial literacy including budgeting, banking, and financial responsibility. Additionally, a small but convenient can and bottle recycling center will be available for community residents to return recyclables. Supporters will also be able to donate their empty bottles and cans for Hearts to process and use the money generated for our outreach programs.
We are excited to share the endless possibilities of this new community center. In the future, we plan to invite valuable speakers, add more than non-perishables to our client choice food pantry, and more. Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on all of our changes!