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Food pantry seeks help from public to find new home

Ashley Hirtzel

The Buffalo Dream Center needs a new home by this Wednesday.  The mobile food pantry was given 45 days to move, but is having so much difficulty finding warehouse space they’re enlisting the public’s help.

Pastor Eric Johns leads the Buffalo Dream Center, which helps hundreds of single parent families, elderly people and refugees in need receive food, furniture and other household items each month. The Dream Center currently operates out of the Larkin Center of Commerce, but Johns says the group needs a new workspace.

“The Larkin Center of Commerce has really been great to us. For nearly four years this 6,000 sq ft space has been donated. So, this has just been a blessing for us to be able to operate out of here and serve the community. But, unfortunately for us the building is growing here and new tenants are moving in. About 45 days ago they asked us to find a new place, which we didn’t think would be that difficult, but it’s been kind of hard to find a location that will accommodate us,” said Johns.

Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO News
The Larkin Commerce Center where the Buffalo Dream Center is currently located.

Johns says the Dream Center is looking to move into a 10,000 sq ft, so that they’ll have enough room for their ‘Boxes of Love’ project, which gives food and wrapped Christmas gifts to more than 3,000 families every December. He says they’ve been having trouble finding a new home.

“We have a couple of major realtors looking for us right now, but the price hasn’t been right for some of them. To be honest I’ve walked into some warehouses where the place is falling apart, mold is growing on the wall and things like that, and when you’re dealing with food it just has to have a certain standard,” said Johns.

Johns is asking the community for help in letting them know of any available warehouse space. He says they’re looking for either an all donated space, a workspace where they pay utilities or a place with low-cost rent and utilities.

Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO News
Buffalo Dream Center volunteers package pastries and breads for needy families in the city.

The Larkin Center of Commerce has promised to move the Buffalo Dream Center into a different part of the building temporarily until they can find a permanent home.

Anyone with information can contact the Buffalo Dream Center at (716) 854-1000 or visit BuffaloDreamCenter.org.