Hearts for the Homeless Donation Bins are found outside grocery stores, throughout the Buffalo area and now, the nonprofit is expanding its food pantry in Buffalo’s Riverside Neighborhood.

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With many Western New Yorkers out of work during the pandemic, Hearts for the Homeless Outreach Director says the need for food pantries skyrocketed.

“Our food pantry needs increased 300%,” said Skylar Shurr of Hearts for the Homeless. “Now that the pandemic is slowing down, the need remains pretty high. So it forces us to expand in a way.”

According to NEWS 4 (WIVB-TV) Frank’s Basement Systems exemplifying what the term "City of Good Neighbors" means is offering assistance to the local non-profit.  The basement in their newly acquired food pantry needs to be able to store canned goods. The team from Frank’s Basement Systems volunteered time, and over a dozen employees, to waterproof the space. Doing this will make the space ‘up to code’ for food storage.

This particular job is not an easy one. 15 volunteers lug buckets of concrete up and down flights of stairs as part of the renovation. But Frank DiMaria Sr. says it’s a job they’re happy to do. They’ve had a long friendship with the founders of Hearts for the Homeless.

“We just really believed in the process, and what he believed in, ” said DiMaria. “so, we have been able to give back over many, many years.”

DiMaria anticipates the project should be completed shortly. Shurr says the new pantry should be ready for visitors in the very near future.

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