It’s a good day whenever any regional organization can expand its services to better help those in need in our region.

When the expansion involves a group like the Food Bank of WNY and an effort to better respond to the needs of individuals who are in need of delicious and nutritious food, it is very good news indeed.

On Tuesday, representatives from the Food Bank announced that, thanks to the addition of a new 26-foot refrigerated truck, the organization will be expanding its Direct Delivery Program in Niagara County. 

The expanded service means the region’s lead hunger-relief organization will be better suited to work with its 41 member agencies in Niagara County as they provide food to the needy in Niagara Falls, Lockport and communities in between. The expanded launch is not only beneficial to Niagara County but will also allow for improved direct delivery services to a total of 317 agencies covering a four-county service area that also includes Erie, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties as well. 

“The staff and volunteers who run our partner agencies devote an incredible amount of time, money and physical capacity to ensure their neighbors are fed. We appreciate their dedication, and we are thrilled to offer this important service to our partner agencies in Niagara and throughout our four-county service area,” said Tara A. Ellis, president and CEO of the Food Bank of WNY. 

At present, the Food Bank’s Niagara agencies use personal and rental vehicles to pick up their food orders from a Niagara Falls-based distribution site. With the launch of the Direct Delivery Program and new truck, Food Bank officials said the group will now be able to distribute product to its partner agencies in Niagara at no cost to them. Officials said the program will relieve the agencies of the costly, time-consuming and laborious transportation process and will allow them to order more food as they work to meet the need of the community.

Capt. Stephen Carroll, commander of the Salvation Army of Niagara Falls, noted that his organization currently has a single vehicle to meet all of its needs and having another option thanks to the Direct Delivery Program will be highly beneficial to his organization and the community it serves. 

“Direct delivery will allow the Salvation Army and other agencies the ability to order more food based on what is needed without having to consider how much can fit into a vehicle,” he said. 

How important are the services offered by the Food Bank of WNY and its partners? 

In any given month, more than 15,570 Niagara County residents rely on the organization and its partner agencies for nutritious food and support. 

Through these agencies, the Food Bank serves as many as 140,000 individuals in any given month, including 45,300 households, 54,500 children and infants and 18,370 seniors.

The addition of another vehicle and the expansion of the Food Bank’s Direct Delivery Program is welcome news for partner agencies in Niagara County and all the needy individuals and families they serve.