In the Community
Chesapeake Nonprofit Opens Multipurpose Facility
The mother-daughter duo of Delena and Nischelle Buffalow has been feeding their neighbors in South Norfolk since 2010. Like another famous chef, they decided it was time “to kick it up a notch.”
Could they do even more to assist the residents in their Chesapeake community? Were there ways to boost their minds and overall health, too?
So, their nonprofit organization, Buffalow Family and Friends, remodeled an 8,000-square-foot building in the same shopping center that’s home to the agency’s food pantry.
The July ribbon-cutting drew more than 150 people, including local and state leaders, healthcare partners, and supporters. BFF will provide mentoring, STEM training, and additional outreach among the various programs there.
“We have to do the holistic approach on food insecurity,” said Nischelle Buffalow, “feeding the mind, body, and soul.”
The Hampton Roads Community Foundation has supported the multifaceted agency with grants totaling $40,000 since 2020. Some of the Foundation’s funding assisted the group’s clients during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A dozen years ago, the Buffalows started out with a modest Thanksgiving dinner for 25 people. Their efforts have grown into something much greater.
The Thanksgiving tradition continues, with roughly 2,000 meals served. Senior lunches and a mobile pantry occur throughout the year. Another project in August provided more than 300 backpacks full of school supplies to children headed back to the classroom.
When board members and the Buffalows decided it was time to expand, they jumped at leasing the new site. BFF then spent $25,000 on renovations. The facility provides lots of space to concentrate on health, education, and more.
Inspirational messages dot the front of the building, including “Believe in Yourself,” “Dream Big,” and “Focus on Greatness.”
The CROP Foundation (Community Resource Opportunity Project) is among the organizations with an office at the center. Its partnership with the Buffalows started a half-dozen years ago.
“We’re kind of her armor bearers,” Brian Jay Glover, board president of the nonprofit CROP, said of Nischelle Buffalow. “We support her with technology, elbow grease, and whatever she needs.”
Glover said voter registration and anti-violence programs will take place there. He added that it will be an asset to have a permanent office, something the group lacked before.