Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the completion of the $145,000 expansion of the Mandela Market on Buffalo’s East Side.
The expansion will allow the market to provide fresh foods in a federally recognized “food desert,” according to the governor’s office.
Funding for the project came from the state’s East Side Corridor Economic Development Fund and Buffalo Billion II initiative.
The goal is to provide greater access to fresh fruits and vegetables for the neighborhood. The market was first established by Ahmed Saleh, an African immigrant who worked through business school and opened the market in 2007.
"Access to fresh, quality food is critical to the health and prosperity of all communities during these challenging times," Cuomo said. "New York State is proud to support projects like the expansion of the Mandela Market and the continuing revitalization of Buffalo's East Side. I congratulate Ahmed Saleh, who works hard every day to provide food to the neighborhood he lives in and loves."
According to the governor’s office, Selah undertook the expansion of the market to offer healthier foods. That expansion required constructing an additional 1,5000 square feet of space. The market received $130,000 in funding to make the expansion possible.
"We are pleased the expansion of our market on East Ferry street is complete and ready to be enjoyed by residents of Buffalo's East Side,” Selah said. “I thank New York State for supporting this opportunity to bring fresh produce, new food options and additional jobs to a neighborhood in need of convenient, affordable and nutritious meal options."