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New Food Pantry to Open Jan. 9 in Getzville, a Collaboration of Catholic Charities and Temple Beth Zion

by jtan
Wed, Dec 31st 2014 12:00 pm

BUFFALO, N.Y., Dec. 31, 2014 - A new food pantry to serve Getzville and Williamsville residents will open Jan. 9 as a collaborative effort of Catholic Charities and Temple Beth Zion. Town Square Food Pantry is located at the Town Square for Aging on the Weinberg Campus, 2710 North Forest Road, Getzville. The site will serve eligible residents of zip codes 14068 and 14221. 

The food pantry will be open Tuesdays and Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and closed for lunch from noon to 12:30 p.m.

Eileen Nowak, Catholic Charities' Parish Outreach and Advocacy Department director, shared how the new food pantry will impact residents in the area.

 "This is a chance for both Catholic Charities and Temple Beth Zion to bring additional services to an area that has been underserved and to help feed families with limited incomes," she said. "In addition to the food pantry, we also can connect residents with other services they may need, such as marriage counseling, mental health services or clothing."

Most of the initial funding was secured through donations and came from the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies. Catholic Charities oversaw the process of establishing the new pantry and is currently working to register its seventh pantry site as a member of the Food Bank of Western New York, while Temple Beth Zion contributed a large portion of food and will have its members volunteer at the pantry. Catholic Charities oversaw the process of establishing the new pantry and is currently working to register its seventh pantry site as a member of the Food Bank of Western New York.

Rabbi Gary Pokras, Temple Beth Zion Senior Rabbi, talked about the significance of the partnership.

"I believe that God created us to build up Creation together," said Rabbi Pokras. "Each time we help each other we bring a spark of the Divine into our lives, but when people from different religious traditions work together, then anything is possible. That is why we at Temple Beth Zion feel blessed to partner with the wonderful folks at Catholic Charities to feed the hungry. The important work Catholic Charities does is truly holy, and we consider ourselves fortunate indeed to be part of this new collaboration."

To register on their first visit, individuals must bring a photo identification, proof of number of people in the household and proof of residency such as a utility bill or lease, as well as proof of income, including Social Security cards, Medicaid and food stamp benefits cards. Clients are only required to bring their photo identification, proof of income and residence, and the pantry card on subsequent visits.

Catholic Charities maintains six other pantry and outreach centers. Five are located in Erie County, in Central, East and South Buffalo and in Lackawanna, and one is in Allegany County in Wellsville. Each has emergency food pantries and offers information and referrals. Trained volunteers from surrounding parishes and congregations help those in need through the centers.

In 2014, the food pantries impacted 5,669 individuals. More than 2,000 individuals assisted were infants and children under the age of 18.

For more information, please call (716) 218-1400 ext. 2004 or 2005.

Founded in 1850, Temple Beth Zion is one of the oldest and largest Reform congregations in the nation. Blessed with magnificent worship spaces and talented leaders, we are committed to continuing our legacy as a vibrant Jewish community. Our mission keeps us focused on people and Jewish values; we are dedicated to supporting our members on their own Jewish journeys and to serving our community at large.

The Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies was established in 1911 and administers more than 1,200 endowments, charitable trusts and other philanthropic funds created by donors to serve broad charitable purposes. It also manages capital, reserve and endowment funds for 32 local Jewish social service agencies, organizations, temples and synagogues.

For 91 years, Catholic Charities has been making a difference for people of every faith and ethnicity in Western New York. Catholic Charities empowers children, families and seniors to achieve meaningful, healthy and productive lives. In all situations, Catholic Charities delivers support to meet immediate needs, and then assess its clients for other needs to ensure long-term success. It is the most comprehensive human service provider serving Western New York.  For five years, Catholic Charities attained the highest possible rating (four stars) from Charity Navigator for sound fiscal management. Catholic Charities also receives highest ratings for quality of service from the Council on Accreditation.

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