Niagara Gazette — Local food pantries will be getting $28,000 of that funding. Sister Beth Brosmer is the director of Heart and Soul Food Pantry and Dining Room, one of the 20 pantries that will use the money to fill its cupboards.
Brosmer said that her pantry has seen an increase in the number of people using the food assistance for the first time in recent years.
"They're brand new people," Brosmer said. "They've never been to a place like Heart and Soul where they need to ask for food assistance."
At the same time the pantry has seen a drop in donations, Brosmer said.
"We often have people who have never used these services or who are employed but can't make it," Brosmer said.
The Niagara Community Action Program received $8,000 for utility assistance programming.
Suzanne Shears, the executive director of the not-for-profit, said that this funding is like gold for the organizations and the people that they serve.
"Every year we see more and more families and many of them are working poor families and have jobs but can't make ends meet," Shears said.
Jerald Wolfgang, the chairman of the board for United Way of Greater Niagara, has been involved in fundraising efforts for the organization for years. He said that fundraising has become more difficult in Niagara Falls since large companies like Carborundum and Occidental have either shrunk or shut down.
These industrial sites gave large gifts and their employees were unbelievably good," Wolfgang said.
As where fundraisers could count on large donations before they now have to look for donations from many smaller companies and individual residents.
Wolfgang said that the state of the economy has put extra strain on the organizations that help people in the community.
"There's no question that it's a reflection of the economy," he said.