Historical Signing between Seneca Scientific Solutions+ and the FruitBelt Coalition AKA "The Fruit of the City"!



(Dean Seneca and Nicholas Blatto with Dr. Benjamin Cashaw and Mr. Anthony Chestnut, Co-Founders of the FruitBelt Coalition - Partnership Signing - 3/30/2024)

We at Seneca Scientific Solutions+ are very excited to announce our new partnership with the FruitBelt Coalition, also known as “The Fruit of the City!” This is a historic moment for the City of Buffalo - a time where addressing the intersectionality of health barriers is a priority for Buffalo residents. 

Partnerships are critical in public health, especially during health equity initiatives. Sowing seeds and going places together says Dr. Benjamin Cashaw, Chief Executive Office and co-founder of the Coalition. By combining our capacities, experiences, and joint passion for social justice, we are prepared to make the most of this partnership and improve the health of our communities. Dean Seneca, founder and CEO of Seneca Scientific Solutions, states “It’s time to address the health issues in our local urban neighborhoods. Politicians overlook these things when developing communities. 

Health disparities rarely occur in isolation. They develop from compounding risk factors, including social, environmental, behavioral, medical, and genetic problems. People with multiple risk factors across this spectrum have much higher chances of getting sick and dying young. Unfortunately, this is a common scenario across the United States, especially in cities like Buffalo, NY. Poor economic development, historical redlining (i.e. residential segregation), and institutional discrimination produce a deadly storm of disparities. Neighborhoods like the Fruitbelt and Eastside of Buffalo sadly experience this and grapple with compounded effects. Residents in affected areas have far worse health outcomes than those who live in more “prioritized” parts of Buffalo and Western NY.

The FruitBelt Coalition is a non-profit, community-based organization in the Fruitbelt neighborhood of Buffalo, New York. For the past 20 years, they’ve organized annual community wellness events and community resource opportunities to improve quality of life for Buffalo residents. These include:

  • Holiday celebrations (for underprivileged inner-city children)
  • Safety education 
  • Health and wellness fairs
  • Solar panel and water quality initiatives
  • Food pantry for people living with kidney disease and diabetes
  • Low-income housing assistance

Most recently, they hosted their annual Easter Extravaganza, orchestrating activities such as senior bingo, Easter egg hunts, and gardening tutorials for Eastside youth. Co-founders Dr. Benjamin Cashaw and Mr. Anthony Chestnut (Chief Operating & Financial Officer) have established themselves as recognized authorities in the fight to eliminate health disparities through organized community efforts. 

Our Associate Director of Epidemiology and Public Health, Nicholas Blatto, began as a Coalition volunteer in 2019 and now serves as a board member. While he is not a Fruitbelt resident, Nicholas spent much of his adolescent years in this area. He went to high school at City Honors, played soccer for The Buffalo Public Schools at Johnnie B Wiley Sports Pavilion, and currently plays basketball at Masten Park every Sunday during the summer months. He developed a deeply rooted passion for social justice on the Eastside through professional and personal experiences in the neighborhood.

Blatto states, “The City of Buffalo is a great place to live. I grew up in East Lovejoy and so did my family before me. But unfortunately, like any other city, this depends on your ZIP code, race, income, education, etc. Thankfully, our field is prioritizing intersectional-approaches towards health equity, which operate best through community-based organizations, like the FruitBelt Coalition.”

From Seneca Scientific Solutions+, we want to express our sincerest gratitude towards the Fruit of the City for their commitment to this partnership. Together, we can work towards a healthier future for Black, Indigenous, Hispanic and other marginalized groups in the City of Buffalo. We cannot wait to get started. Many Nya: Weh's! (Seneca for Thank You).

Seneca Scientific Solutions - Urban Planning, Public Health Consulting




Creating healthier and safer communities through evidence-based practices!



 Cattaraugus NY 14719

 [email protected]