Anne Alford & Manson Fiske Surdam Charitable Foundation

Historic Gift will Forever Support Buffalo City Mission, FeedMore WNY and Friends of the Night People

For Immediate Release

August 25, 2022

Buffalo, N.Y.  – The Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies, a 111-year-old charitable organization in Western New York, is honored to announce an extraordinary $26 Million gift from the late Anne and Manson Surdam to support three organizations that address the basic needs of those experiencing poverty in our region. This permanent endowment fund at the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies has been named the Anne Alford and Manson Fiske Surdam Charitable Foundation.

According to the Surdam’s wishes, the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies will distribute the annual net income from the fund to the Buffalo City Mission, FeedMore WNY and Friends of the Night People. An endowment is set up so that the principal is protected and invested, and in turn, a portion of the value is distributed annually forever. Due to the merger of the Food Bank of WNY and Meals on Wheels for WNY, FeedMore WNY will receive approximately $500,000 a year and the Buffalo City Mission and Friends of the Night People will receive approximately $250,000 each per year. The organizations have the flexibility to determine how to best use those funds to carry out their missions.

“The Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies is honored to recognize Anne and Manson Surdam today for what is no doubt their greatest act of kindness and generosity, this legacy they have left for our community will make an impact for years to come,” said Irv Levy, Executive Director, Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies. “The Surdams supported many causes and organizations during their lifetimes but this permanent and thoughtful gift will ensure that their support of organizations serving those experiencing poverty in our community will continue forever.”

“The Buffalo City Mission, FeedMore WNY, and Friends of the Night people have long served the Western New York community, providing those in need with food, clothing, healthcare, and other support services. They have stepped in to provide for Western New Yorkers during our community’s most trying times, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the aftermath of the Buffalo shooting,” said Congressman Brian Higgins. “Thanks to the generosity of the late Manson and Anne Surdam, the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies is making a significant investment in the future of our community and legacy of the City of Good Neighbors.

Click on the video below to watch the recap of the press conference.

This endowment will allow our trusted community partners to continue to respond to the needs of Western New Yorkers and serve a greater number of people living in underserved communities.”

“We are grateful beyond words to the Anne Alford and Manson Fiske Surdam Foundation for this monumental gift and what it means to our most vulnerable neighbors in this City of Good Neighbors,” said Aubrey Calhoun, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, Buffalo City Mission. “Together with FeedMore WNY and Friends of Night People, we will honor the Surdam’s legacy by providing food, shelter and vital programs and services to the poor and homeless individuals across Western New York who need it most.”

“The food insecurity rate in Western New York is 25% higher than the state average. One of every eight people in our community lacks consistent access to enough food for a healthy and active lifestyle, and the impacts can be life-long. The generous gift of Anne Alford and Manson Fiske Surdam will help FeedMore WNY build a brighter future with the capacity to help more people; through the expansion of current programs and the development of new ones. On behalf of the nearly four hundred partner agencies we work with to provide food security to all Western New Yorkers, we thank the Surdam family and the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies for supporting our mission,” said Tara A. Ellis, President & CEO, FeedMore WNY.

“This once in a lifetime gift to WNY and Friends of Night People organization will support our community feeding programs. It will help provide nourishing meals to those experiencing poverty. It will provide greater access to our programs and serve more people across our city and region. This gift will increase the resources available to our case managers who assist those experiencing poverty and homelessness and those struggling with medical, behavioral and addiction illnesses. Friends of Night People has a long history of working with other programs across Buffalo. These programs alleviate unnecessary suffering, help individuals in need of essential services and provide kindness and compassion. This gift affirms our efforts and successes and will serve as the spark to help more people in the upcoming decades,” said Joe Heary, Executive Director, Friends of the Night People.

The Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies would be honored to assist you and your family in preserving your legacy.

Irving H. Levy, Executive Director
(716) 204-1139 •  716-390-9653 •

Lorne Steinhart, Senior Manager of Client Relations
(716) 204-1135 •