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Alden State Bank (Honorable Mention) - Alden, NY

2022 Community Committment Awards Submission

  • Community and Economic Development
  • Asset Size: Small

Alden State Bank (ASB) opened its third branch in November of 2021 in a former branch location of another bank in East Amherst, New York. The building had more space than the bank required so, when remodeling the building prior to opening, ASB allotted space for, and fully equipped, a coffee shop. The bank has partnered with F BITES, a 501-c-3 corporation that provides culinary education and job training to high-risk populations, to operate the café, and provides the space to them rent free. F BITES, which stands for 'Food Based Interventions with Technology, Energy, & Science,' provides nutritional education and vocational training at sites throughout western New York, including a program at Niagara Falls high school which, in partnership with Starbucks, is America's first high school barista training program. F BITES is focused on workforce development and helping at-risk populations develop soft skills, gain confidence, and build resumes using food service as a vehicle for acquiring universal workplace skills such as time management, respect, patience, and communication. In addition to at-risk and underprivileged high school students, F BITES employs and trains chronically unemployed adults as well as prisoners transitioning to the workforce following their release. More about F BITES and their important work can be found at their website, www.fbites.org. A short video on the café in ASB's East Amherst branch can be viewed here: https://www.wgrz.com/video/news/local/f-bites-opens-new-cafe-in-east-amherst/71-d32041e2-17d1-4dd4-8e2c-9e7188bc264b