BUFFALO, N.Y. — FeedMore WNY says in 2021, its home-delivered meal program and community dining sites provided more than 1.3 million meals throughout Western New York, and the need has gone up since the pandemic started.
That is a 23% increase compared to pre-pandemic levels, and FeedMore WNY says giving tends to be top of mind around the holidays then tapers off into the new year. Right now, they are busy looking for new volunteers.
"The need has absolutely increased not only because families are still dealing with the effects of the pandemic, but with increased inflation and costs increasing on things like gas and groceries," says FeedMore WNY's Nicole Cooke.
FeedMore WNY wants you to know if you need help with food, all you have to do is ask. They can deliver meals right to you, connect you with one of their food pantries, help your child get food at school to bring home in their backpack program, or help you find a dining site.
"We're finding that those impacts are hardest felt by our neighbors who already live paycheck to paycheck. So people who are depending on those extra few dollars to stretch a little farther," says Cooke.
Gary Constantino signed his mom up for home delivery when the pandemic started so she wouldn't be as isolated at home.
"FeedMore's become a little part of our community, and the food is good, and that's more than she can eat and there's always leftovers, but it's the security and the comfort level they give us by being present every day when they're delivering the food. They're really important to our family," says Gary Constantino.
In 2021, those volunteers donated more than 108,000 hours of service and FeedMore WNY could use more of them.
"We are always in need of home-delivered meal drivers and those volunteers provide not just food, but important companionship to make sure that people are not isolated especially during the time of the pandemic. We also have opportunities for people to donate their time at our warehouse sorting and packing food donations, and we are always needing donations of monetary support for all of our various programs," says Cooke.
If you would like to help, it's really easy. FeedMore WNY needs volunteers to deliver meals, people to host food drives, and cash always helps, too.