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Collaborative Efforts to Address Food Insecurity

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Lesley Christman, Executive Director from ACCORD Corp., Roxanne Schmidt, and Tom Kailbourne from Grace United make Chili to provide a meal to the hungry

By Mary Gardner-Ruch

On Tuesday, January 24th, The Food Coalition met. The group is composed of representatives from Food Link, The Salvation Army, ACCORD Corporation, Ardent Solutions, AIM Independent Living, The VA of WNY, and Tri Family County Medicine.  

The Unified Services group began during COVID and has come back together to work on the problem of food insecurity.  Over the last 6 months, these service providers have seen a dramatic increase in individuals seeking help with food and paying bills. They are seeing more Senior Citizens, large families, and people who have never received help or haven’t needed it in a long time. 

All of the food panties are being maxed out leading to a need for more donations through food drives and individuals. Volunteers are also being burnt out.  There is a need across the board for volunteers to assist at pantries, and food giveaways.  Carol Dodge, Food Pantry Coordinator at the Salvation Army mentioned how much people appreciate the produce boxes and fresh eggs provided by Food Link. 

The group intends to find ways to work together and educate the public about where they can find services as well as how they can help with donations and volunteering.

On Saturday, January 28th, Volunteers from ACCORD Corporation, The David A Howe Public Library, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Grace United Church, and community members came together to serve a meal at the library for those who were in need. Chili, corn, cheese and crackers, cupcakes, and beverages were provided. The group plans to provide another meal on February 18th at noon.  

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