BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — As the “City of Good Neighbors,” we know that not all heroes wear capes. However, one local man does will while helping fight the villain of hunger.
“I grew up as a big fan of Batman, and I always wanted to give back to the community,” said William Lorenz Jr, whos known as “Buffalo’s Best Batman.” “Batman is the most realistic of the superheroes in my opinion, he doesn’t have any superpowers, everything he’s done to help Gotham city, and just as a human being.”
He may be a defense attorney for Bennett Schechter Arcuri & Will during the day, but Lorenz has been masking up as the hero, and helping the community fight food insecurity for years. He’s been helping local charities, events and started an annual “Superhero Food Drive” three years ago during the pandemic.
“Three years ago during the height of the pandemic, I was volunteering at various food pantries and they were running out of supplies. One of them, we ended approximately two hours early so I realized there really was a shortage,” said Lorenz.
On average, Feedmore WNY feeds roughly 160,000 individuals throughout the community every month. Due to many factors including inflation and the ending of SNAP Emergency allotment, there are now even more mouths to feed.
“We really saw the need skyrocket at the start of the pandemic, and we have not seen that need go down,” said Lauren Picone, Governmental Affairs Manager of Feedmore WNY. “This is a critical time for the community to kind of step up and come out and show support either through food drives or monetary donations. We’re always there and we’re always willing to help our neighbors, we just need a little support as well.”
The food drive returns Saturday, April 29 outside of the Dash’s Market on Hertel Avenue, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Items they are collecting are any non-perishable items, including canned protein, peanut butter, baby supplies, canned fruits and vegetables and more.
Last year, they raised 3,800lbs of food, and this year, with the help of Superheroes from the Justice League of WNY, WNY Superheroes and Cosplayers, 211 Buffalo and the 716 Ghostbusters, they are hoping to beat that record, one donation at a time.
“I think every member is a superhero in they’re right, so to come out and do this is spectacular,” said Picone.
Though many of the heroes will be suited up, you don’t have to wear a cape to be a hero and donate.
Hope Winter is a reporter and multimedia journalist who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here.