November 29, 2022

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Where Is Your Cooking

$200,000 in federal funding going to help Buffalo’s African Heritage Food Co-op

That money will help them upgrade their locations in Niagara Falls and their site on the East Side that just opened up in 2020.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Over the last few weeks we’ve talked a lot about food deserts and the need for more options in Buffalo’s East Side after the only grocery store in the area was shut down after the mass shooting.

On Thursday it was announced some federal dollars are on the way to help.

Buffalo’s African Heritage Food Co-op will receive $200,000. That money will help them upgrade their locations in Niagara Falls and their site on the East Side that just opened up in 2020.

The funding was announced by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand on Thursday. The money comes from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI).

“Access to fresh, affordable, healthy food is a basic right that has been constricted for neighborhoods across Buffalo’s East Side for far too long. Community leaders, like Buffalo’s African Heritage Food Co-op, have long worked to address these challenges and I am proud to deliver this USDA investment to Buffalo’s African Heritage Food Co-op to uplift community-led efforts that will directly tackle food insecurity caused by years of racially discriminatory policies,” Schumer said. 

“When I fought alongside community leaders years ago to open the Tops Market on Jefferson Avenue, I had no idea how this supermarket would one day become such a neighborhood hub. While the community continues to mourn and heal from the horrific evils of the racially-motivated, mass shooting, I hope that today’s investment can serve as small beacon of light for a brighter future for the East Side. I will not stop fighting to deliver more federal investment to give Buffalo’s families the fresh, affordable food and peace of mind they desperately deserve.”

Long before the tragic shooting that took the lives of 10 innocent people in Buffalo, the East Side community was already battling the persistent problem of food insecurity and lacked accessible and affordable food,” Gillibrand said. 

“I was in Buffalo fighting for this funding on Monday and now, I’m proud to be delivering it. This is an important step to put an end to hunger in our state and I will keep fighting until every child, every family, and every community in Buffalo and across our state has access to the healthy, nutritious meals needed to thrive.”

The African Heritage Food Co-op formed in 2016 to increase access to affordable and nutritional food to underserved communities in WNY.