“We continue to remember the tradition of being a good neighbor and providing services to the Buffalo and Niagara County communities that show the care that neighbors share. Although our service neighborhoods have expanded to now include Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Lockport, NY, we remain committed to the belief that a city’s strength can be attributed to its residents and the neighborhoods they live,” stated Richard I. Herrera, MSW, CEO of the Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers (BFNC).
During the month of November and December 2020 the BFNC has planned a few community activities to encourage the spirit of caring and assisting our neighbors.
Herrera added, “Our clients and neighbors are struggling during this pandemic. We continue to serve by providing those in most need of care residential services, medical guidance, food and health and wellness activities to uplift and empower.”
“During the Covid – 19 shut down, BFNC immediately began planning for a new way to continue services and develop new programs that would fill emerging needs. We were energized by how the staff embraced the challenges and saw it as an opportunity to create a transformational agency,” stated Richard I. Herrera.
The Youth Services department made a quick pivot to adjust their outreach to a digital platform. “The programming has been successful. Our staff brainstormed and included input from our teen participants to develop new programming that they believed would make an impact in their lives, among their families and the Buffalo and Niagara Falls communities, stated Dan Bolden, Program Director of Youth Services-Erie, Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers, Inc.
“BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR” PLANNED ACTIVITIES INCLUDE:
- The Introduction of a new digital community cooking series: BFNC Cooking with Soul with Chef Stephen Forman. The cooking segments are shown on Facebook and the BFNC You Tube Channel every Thursday evening from 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm.
Youth Director Dan Bolden shared the importance of developing a cooking show. “During the pandemic I feel it is important that we try to reach our youth where they are. We are attempting to nurture their interests and give them something positive to watch on our social media outlets. My hope is that it brings youth and their families together and help with options when it comes to healthy food choices and meal planning. I think that Chef Stephen Forman did a good job creating meals that interest everyone.”
2. Thanksgiving Grocery Give Away (November 19, 2020)
Annually during the month of November, BFNC has hosted a community Thanksgiving Dinner. This year the dinner is cancelled to protect the community during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the agency will continue the tradition of giving by hosting a Thanksgiving Grocery Give Away. The community is invited on Thursday, November 19, 2020 to participate. Community members are invited to Walk up beginning at 11 am and receive a bag of Thanksgiving grocery items or residents can Drive up beginning at noon to receive a Thanksgiving grocery bag. Covid-19 Safety rules apply. All participants must wear masks and follow socially distancing requirements.
III. BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR RECOGNITION
The Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers is committed to building stronger neighborhoods and communities. The agency believes it begins with each person and each resident. BFNC has asked the staff and the Buffalo community to share stories about a neighbor who should be recognized on the BFNC Facebook page. On December 14, 2020, BFNC will raffle a few prizes to GOOD NEIGHBOR nominees. Profiles of Good Neighbors can be viewed on Facebook @bfncbuffalo. https://www.facebook.com/buffalobfnc
About Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers:Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers (BFNC), a community agency with over 125 years of serving the Buffalo community, provides a safety-net of human services to assist residents living in low-income and disadvantaged neighborhoods throughout Buffalo, Niagara Falls, and Lockport, New York. BFNC provides coordinated and customized programs focused on individuals, families, youth, and seniors, by helping with housing, rehabilitation, financial management, vocational assistance, social development, and other supportive services. Learn more at www.bfnc.org.
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