Organizations Teaming Up to Deliver Meals to Area's Needy

Los Tainos Senior Citizens Center

BUFFALO (WBEN) - WNY Hispanic American Veterans teamed up with Nick Pitillo of Osteria 166 to provide 400 Italian dinners to Hispanic seniors on Buffalo's lower West Side on Friday afternoon.

"The Los Tainos Senior Citizens Center is very grateful to the Hispanic Veterans for providing meals for our seniors," said Bennie Matta, president of the center. "Our Hispanic seniors are an at-risk population with many underlying medical issues, and many live alone."

Pitillo began in the wake of the devastating effects that the coronavirus outbreak created for the restaurant industry. Osteria 166 is making meals and freezing them immediately, as they decided the best way to attack the problem was coming up with their own take on meal prep.

Through donations, the restaurant has delivered 12,500 meals to community organizations since the crisis began.

"We were able to direct some (meals), and they were able to purchase some, so it's really kind of cool," said Pitillo. "We're just trying to spread it out, spread the love and be all over - I'm on my way to ECMC next and Roswell after that, and we're just moving."

Casimiro Rodriguez serves as president of the Hispanic Heritage Council of WNY, and he was extremely appreciative of the work that's being done within the community.

"The dispensing of meals to our seniors is one way the Hispanic Veterans can provide some temporary relief to the most vulnerable citizens of our community - our seniors," he said. "Many of whom are parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles or family members who do not have the means to get out and make purchases during this critical time."