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Letters to the Editor: Support your local food pantries, this holiday

Editor:

About six months ago, The Buffalo News did a story concerning rural/suburban poverty versus urban poverty, referencing studies that demonstrated, contrary to popular thought, that rural and suburban poverty was often just as big, if not a bigger, issue than poverty in the metropolitan areas.

In urban areas, there is a food pantry on almost every corner and access to many more available services.

In much of our neck of the woods, there is no public transportation, no sidewalks and only a handful of pantries, spread out over a wide area. In many instances, this means that, in much our area, and even in the town of Hamburg, a car with all of its associated expenses is a necessity.

As a result, our neighbors who are struggling financially actually start at a deficit, compared to their urban counterparts.

Feed My Sheep Ministries Food Pantry is one of the largest pantries in Erie County. With recent cuts in SNAP benefits, rising expenses, uncertain health care costs and coverage and 91 million Americans out of work, we are unfortunately on target this year to provide 100,000 meals to our neighbors and that is just through Feed My Sheep.

Together with Operation Good Neighbor, Saints Peter & Paul Food Pantry and Union Presbyterian Food Pantry, we serve an area twice the size of the city of Buffalo.

While each of us certainly value our relationships with the Food Bank of Western New York, fundraisers and food drives in this area benefiting the food bank rarely return finances or food collected back into our local community.

I do understand that, at the same time, we generally have more resources available in our area, but I humbly ask that, in consideration of your year-round financial giving and food donations, that you not forget those pantries that are there every day, meeting the ongoing needs of your friends and neighbors next door.

Brent Doyle Jr.
Pantry coordinator
Feed My Sheep Ministries Food Pantry
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