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5 tons of food + school supplies = City of Good Neighbors

Mike Desmond/WBFO News

In a time when poverty has been biting hard because of the pandemic, an alliance of agencies was at Say Yes Buffalo Wednesday to help unload a donation of 5 tons of food and school supplies.

Say Yes runs an array of programs to help Buffalo school kids head out to post-secondary education. Programs range from pre-K to the new virtual educational centers to help with college applications.

This time, the organization was working with the Hispanic Heritage Council and the Buffalo Sabres Foundation to accept food from Goya and its Great Lakes headquarters in Angola, along with bags of school supplies from the Sabres. The food and supplies will be distributed across city schools.

Hispanic Heritage President Esmeralda Sierra said it is all desperately needed.

"How wonderful these partnerships have become," Sierra said. "We came together with Goya, with Say Yes and, of course, with the Sabres to bring together the much-needed products to the community. So I really want to show my appreciation for them, for coming together, collaborating and supporting the community."

"Today's announcement of 10,000 pounds of food from Goya is extraordinarily generous and we're equally appreciative for the donation from the Buffalo Sabres to go toward school supplies," said Say Yes Executive Director David Rust. "We're in the midst of a global pandemic and an economic pandemic that has come with that. We see families making hard choices every single day. Families are hungry. They need access to food. They need access to supplies."

Credit Mike Desmond / WBFO News
Organizational leaders celebrate the donations.

Goya Great Lakes General Manager Carlos Pereira said his company's donation is part of 25 tons of food coming to Buffalo over this school year and 1,000 tons being distributed to schools across the country.

"Goya Foods is committed to the Western New York community. With the ongoing public health crisis, our committment to helping those in need is stronger than ever," Pereira said. "That is why we at Goya Foods have pledged to help the Western New York community with 50,000 pounds of food to put on the tables to our families in need."

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.