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A Day of Community Action: Filling the Gap CAO of WNY Hosting Multiple Community Events Friday to Address Urgent Disparities

(BUFFALO, NY) – The Community Action Organization of WNY (CAO) as part of their Take Action Buffalo Campaign is designating Friday, May 22 as a Day of Community Action. With multiple community-wide events sponsored by HarpData, WiFi Warriors, ABC Rental, Buffalo Public Schools and Univera Healthcare, forces are coming together Friday in an effort to take action for those living in underserved and low-income communities to alleviate the impact of socio-economic disparities.

One of Friday’s events will be hosted by CAO’s Emergency and Family Services Division where they will be distributing supplies outside of their Food and Baby Pantry, located at the BMHA LBJ Senior Apartments at 167 West Humboldt Parkway (off Main Street) from 10am-3pm. Residents of the City of Buffalo and Erie County who are experiencing a food shortage are 

welcome to receive a pre-packaged bag of groceries based on their household size.

CEO of CAO, L. Nathan Hare looks forward to alleviating some stress for families in need across the region. He believes it is more important now than ever to fight against poverty and Covid-19. 

“So many families live below the poverty line in Erie and Niagara Counties,” Hare said. “There is widespread racial disparity, which has recently been found in who is bearing the greatest consequence of this terrible disease. No income eligibility documentation is required Friday, as clients can verbally attest that they are eligible. Social distancing will be maintained at all times to keep our staff, volunteers, and residents safe. Our baby needs pantry will also be available to supply families with diapers, baby wipes, and baby formula.”

The CAO Emergency and Family Services division provides short-term assistance to individuals and families during an emergency or crisis that threatens their ability to maintain basic needs – food, clothing, and shelter. Other programs and services include an emergency food delivery program, a mobile produce market, housing and utility assistance, and crisis services.

CAO’s Center Services division will also be hosting a community-wide event Friday from 4pm-6pm. They will be distributing free masks, gloves and hand sanitizer outdoors at the Edward Saunders Community Center at 2777 Bailey Avenue. Food boxes with a seven-day food supply will also be distributed while supplies last. While there, HarpData will be providing a free WiFi access point in the parking lot of the center, to create a space where community residents can park their vehicles and access online information and services that may be essential to daily life. CEO of HarpData, Ivory Robinson has been hosting free WiFi events throughout the pandemic.

“Everyone deserves access to the internet, especially during a pandemic,” Robinson said. “Less than half of our nation’s poorest families have a wireless internet subscription in their homes. If I can help my community access important information, I will always step up to the plate.”

The CAO Center Services division is committed to building vital and healthy communities through a variety of services and programs including, but not limited to, social advocacy and community outreach, senior services, sports and recreation and other community-based initiatives that can strengthen citizen participation.

Residents just have to bring a photo ID and some form of ID to these events to verify their household size. For more information and to check the availability of baby items, residents can call the CAO Emergency and Family Services department at 716-480-5153. For more information on CAO’s Center Services division, residents can call 716-404-9675. 

A Day of Action Event Information

1. CAO Emergency and Family Services Distribution Event
Friday, May 22 from 10am-3pm
BMHA LBJ Senior Apartments
167 W Humboldt Pkwy, Buffalo, NY 14214

2. CAO Center Services Distribution and WiFi Access Event
Friday, May 22 from 4pm-6pm
CAO Edward Saunders Community Center
2777 Bailey Ave, Buffalo, NY 14215

ABOUT CAO of WNY

The Community Action Organization of WNY was designated in 1965 as the official anti-poverty agency for Erie County with a mission to serve the unmet needs of our low income population. Today, CAO serves more than 50,000 families and individuals within Erie and Niagara Counties through a variety of programs and services. Their current campaign, Take Action Buffalo aims to increase their impact in underserved communities as the Covid-19 crisis unfolds. Visit caowny.org for more information.

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