The largest food pantry in Western New York will now be offering more services to help people living in poverty.
The Cheektowaga Community Hub held its grand opening Tuesday at the Resurrection Life Church on Old Union Road. Organized by the Mobile Safety-Net Team, the goal of the Hub is to bring service agencies and economic development opportunities to those in need.
Supervisor Jeffrey Pirrone said it is a prime example of how a collaborative effort can have a positive impact.
“We had the school districts, the town officials, police department, Villa Maria College and many of the not-for-profits in the community who wanted to overcome the obstacles for residents who have awareness issues and access issues to many of the programs that can help them out when in need,” said Pirrone. “So they wanted to create a one stop shop.”
Pirrone said he believes the Hub offers services that residents of Cheektowaga will find crucial in everyday life.
“In Western New York, transportation is a considerable issue, especially for individuals who may not have cars or can only have one car for two adults who may be working,” said Pirrone. “So access to services is a critical need across Western New York, and having a resource center for basic human needs services really overcomes a lot of those transportation issues.”
Pirrone said data shows it is important to make these services available to impoverished families.
“If they’re in an emergency situation, they can come down here and work with social services or other providers,” said Pirrone. “If they want to improve their educational standing, they can learn about education classes, workforce development classes. And if they need jobs, they can have employment opportunities here, as well.”