$450,000 Investment From the KeyBank Foundation To Help Fight Food Insecurity in East Buffalo

Grants were announced during the opening of the third season of the KeyBank Delavan-Grider Farmers Market and will go to two organizations with established track records of working to improve access to healthy, fresh and nutritious food in East Buffalo
May 31, 2024 9:00 AM ET
KeyBank and Keybank Foundation team members shown with grant checks.

A $450,000 investment from the KeyBank Foundation will help two organizations working to fight food insecurity in East Buffalo. This investment was announced at the opening of the third season of the KeyBank Delavan-Grider Farmers Market, held each Thursday from 4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. at the Delavan-Grider Community Center located at 877 East Delavan Avenue in Buffalo.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines food insecurity as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life. Funding from the KeyBank Foundation will go to two organizations with established track records of working to improve access to healthy, fresh and nutritious food in East Buffalo:

  • $300,000 to Buffalo Go Green: This investment from KeyBank will support Buffalo Go Green’s Holistic Wellness & Agricultural Education Campus. This includes Buffalo Go Green’s Fruits & Vegetables Prescription Program (FVRx) which provides low-income individuals and families fresh produce throughout the year. It will also help provide nutrition education and cooking classes in Buffalo Go Green’s new, soon to open commercial kitchen located at Manhattan and East Amherst Streets. Classes will be broadcast live and housed on Buffalo Go Green’s YouTube and social media channels for viewing after live events. Buffalo Go Green provides fresh produce for the KeyBank Delavan-Grider Farmers Market and this funding will support efforts to sustain the market and make food affordable for patrons.
  • $150,000 to the Independent Health Foundation’s “Healthy Options at Home” (HOaH) Program: This is a comprehensive nutrition education program offered free to families living in underserved communities. Initially launched in 2020 as an effort to address increased food insecurity needs during the COVID-19 pandemic, HOaH is now offered year-round and has reached over 1,500 families since its start. Each round of programming runs for four weeks, during which families receive a kitchen kit of essential cooking tools (ex: mixing bowls, kid safe knives, cutting boards, and more), a weekly meal kit complete with fresh produce and other nutritious ingredients, as well as access to corresponding recipe videos led by local chefs – all at no cost to participants. Funds will be used for program components including meal kit ingredients, kitchen kit supplies, delivery expenses, printing educational materials, and video demonstrations produced by local chefs. With the support of KeyBank Foundation, HOaH will continue to make strides in addressing issues of food insecurity that have impacted many families across Western New York by connecting community members with nutritious food as well as educational support needed to sustain healthy eating and cooking habits.

“As we begin another season of the KeyBank Delavan-Grider Farmers Market, we are excited to deepen our investment in East Buffalo by providing funding to these organizations working to make fresh, healthy food more accessible and bring more activity and excitement to the Delavan-Grider community,” said Michael McMahon, KeyBank Buffalo Market President. “Buffalo Go Green and the Independent Health Foundation are doing important work that transforms lives and strengthens communities. Their work symbolizes what community and collaboration is all about.”

“We are grateful for this investment from KeyBank and for their leadership and support with the Delavan-Grider Farmers Market,” said Allison DeHonney, CEO of Buffalo Go Green. “This partnership is bringing transformative resources and change to this community. We are excited to work with KeyBank to bring resources that improve lives and health, and make a difference in our community.”

“Our mission is to meet people where they are, bringing them the resources needed to create and maintain healthy lifestyles,” said Carrie Meyer, executive director of the Independent Health Foundation. “We’ve heard time and again from our participants that the Healthy Options at Home program helps families feel more confident about cooking healthy meals on a budget. They learn new skills together while trying out recipes that are tasty, healthy, and inexpensive to make, setting the stage for family dinners that nourish bodies and nurture relationships. Last year, we were able to provide the ingredients and education to prepare more than 8,000 meals through this program. We are extremely grateful to the KeyBank Foundation for this grant, which will enable us to bring Healthy Options at Home to more families in our community.”

Since 2017, KeyBank has made more than $1 billion in investments in Buffalo and Western New York, supporting affordable housing and community development projects; small business and home lending to low-to-moderate income individuals and communities, and transformative philanthropy.