The Sister Mary Josette Food Pantry at Villa Maria College packed two-hundred bags of holiday meals for food pantry clients with the help of the News Neediest Fund run by The Buffalo News. The Fund purchases holiday meals with the help of cash donations, which are then distributed to food pantries by the Food Bank of WNY.
Members of the faculty and staff at Villa Maria helped Sister Michaelanne Galas, Food Pantry Director, to pack holiday meal items on December 12, 2017 as part of a yearly tradition. Galas expressed that they are never short of helping hands when they put the call out this time of year, stating:
"It's a whole community effort. Our mission, which is compassionate service to those in need in accord with the College's core values, has allowed for a sustained commitment and dedication to our Franciscan ideals. I am always impressed at the great good this small community can do."
The Sister Mary Josette Food Pantry was founded in 1986 and recently celebrated thirty years of service to Villa Maria College and the surrounding community of Buffalo's East Side. Between 2016-2017, the food pantry supplied meals to 10,601 individuals. The meals provided by the News Neediest will be distributed to the pantry's clients based on family size, and included a full ham, beans, rice, corn, juice, fruit, and other holiday meal items. The Pantry is supported by the Food Bank of Western New York, several local foundations, donations from service organizations, and Villa Maria College.