News About Urgent Opening of Hearts Harvest Food Pantry
Often times when one door closes another door opens. However, it is not always at the same time. Furthermore, it is not always apparent that another door is opening; it can be hard to see the opportunity a closing door provides us. Many times, our faith and instincts encourage us and give us confidence for new opportunities that may seem too challenging or too different than what we are used to or comfortable with. In the case of the BlackRock Riverside Food Pantry, we felt in our hearts that the closure was a new opportunity that Hearts should be a part of. The building that housed the BlackRock Riverside Food Pantry sold and they were not able to secure a new location prior to the closing of the building.
As many of you know, Hearts for the Homeless is currently renovating a building adjacent to our longstanding ministry center that will house a food pantry and community café, Hearts Harvest Food Pantry and Café. The construction is underway; but, construction takes time. Time was not something the community in the 14207 ZIP code had on its side with the closure of the BlackRock Riverside Food Pantry at the end of December. Two options presented themselves. First, the pantry would close and there would be a gap in food assistance for the neighborhood. Second, Hearts for the Homeless could find a way to open a temporary food pantry while construction of the formal space continues. For us, the answer was clear; we could not stand by and let the community be without a food pantry for any period of time. Without a pantry 300 or more families, almost 1,000 individuals, would go without food assistance. With the guidance and support of FeedMore WNY (Food Bank), Hearts for the Homeless made the decision to open our food pantry early, quickly, and as best we could with the space and resources we had. Ministry work can be glorious and beautiful; but, it can also be gritty and uncomfortable. We are embracing the discomfort during this hectic time because we know that fitting this temporary food pantry into our existing building will have a big impact on the lives of others. The alternative was just not an option for us – we felt called to be bold in our faith and trust that what is needed will be provided.
As you read this, please consider ways you can assist us with our new food pantry. We will have many volunteer opportunities, but would ask you to please consider a financial donation to support Hearts in bringing this food pantry to life. It will take a great deal of resources to sustain the temporary pantry and complete the construction project of the formal space. God’s timing isn’t always our timing; but, it can be the best timing if we allow it to be! Thank you for being a part of this ministry and for your support as it truly helps to change lives.
The temporary Hearts Food Pantry will be at the Hearts Thrift Shop at 890 Tonawanda Street and is open to serve clients in the 14207 ZIP code. After entering from the parking lot side door in the back, free coffee is available while you shop for fresh fruits and vegetables - just like in a grocery store. Please bring identification and proof of residency for everyone in your household. Service is provided based on income eligibility.