A Buffalo-based financial institution is bringing new meaning to the term "food bank," donating tens of thousands of dollars to help fight food insecurity in the Southern Tier.

M&T Bank is allocating $58,000 in grants for the Greater Good Grocery Store in Binghamton and a dozen other organizations' hunger abatement programs.

In a news release from the company, M&T announced they are building on a commitment to combat hunger and uplift local communities through its charitable investment program.

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Bob Joseph/WNBF News
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Grants are being directed to local food pantries and food-access programs in Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Tioga and Tompkins Counties.

According to M&T, approximately 67,590 people across the Southern Tier have experienced food insecurity.  A recent report from Feeding America shows that is about 12.4% of the region’s population facing hunger issues.

The numbers have been driven higher during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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M&T points to the recently opened Greater Good Grocery store on Binghamton’s Northside, which has been a food dessert for years with no major market providing fresh, health food options, as an example of a group making a difference through its Free Produce Days.

On the last Wednesday of each month, bags of fresh produce are given away to local families and individuals through the grocery operated by the Broome County Council of Churches.

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M&T is also providing grant funding for 12 other agencies including Meals on Wheels programs in Broome, Tompkins and Chemung Counties, Catholic Charities in Broome and Chenango Counties, Binghamton University Food Pantry, the Broome County Council of Churches, Cortland County area Agency on Aging, Loaves & Fishes of Tompkins County, T.A.C.O. Food Pantry, Tioga County Rural Ministry and the Food Bank of the Southern Tier.

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