BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The 10 victims were in the hearts and minds of dozens who gathered Wednesday night for a food distribution event at the Mount Hope Community Church on Broadway.
The city is still in mourning, but neighbors are trying to lift each other up. Food distribution sites are popping up across the East Side to help residents who live in this food desert.
“Everybody’s hurting and they are hurting in different ways, so we are trying to bring that level of comfortability to them,” Senior Pastor Charles H. Walker of Mount Hope Community Church said.
As the nation watches the investigation scene on Jefferson Ave., members of this community gathered in a small church in another neighborhood on the East Side. Mount Hope Community Church partnered with the Buffalo City Mission to provide food to area residents who have lost more than one grocery store.
“[We want to] be that one stop shop where they can step out of their homes and where we can fulfill and fill that gap of the food desert,” Aubrey Calhoun, Executive Director and CEO of the Buffalo City Mission, added.
Pastor Walker says the community had a Tops on Broadway and Bailey Ave., but it was closed three years ago. There has been nothing to take its place, so residents had to travel three miles to the Tops on Jefferson Ave. Now that is closed temporarily.
The Mission is taking donations not only to help families in the Masten Park and Kingsley neighborhoods, but to help all residents on the East Side who shopped at that Tops.
“People are stepping up and just stepping out of their comfort zone to help a neighbor or fellow in need and that’s what Buffalo is all about,” Calhoun continued.
One resident said she traveled to Cheektowaga to get groceries.
“I had to catch the bus and then I’m watching and seeing who on the bus look strange. You don’t know who is what. Then when I get off the bus, I’m praying as I’m walking up to Tops,” Denise Shelton shared with News 4.
As lawmakers call for national change, many residents say it starts with Buffalo and not just with the Tops shooting. John Shelton says he lost his son, who was killed in Black Rock.
“You can never forget. You forgive, but you can’t forget,” Shelton said. “If we can stop the violence, it would be a beautiful thing.”
Jeffery Bradley, another area resident, shared similar sentiments.
“I just lost a good friend a few weeks ago that got killed on Person. We all lost a lot of really good people around here,” Bradley said. “Stop the killing because its really bad.”
As the city begins to heal, people are asking—where do we go from here?
“I don’t know what to do. I’m willing to take anybody’s advice,” Denise Shelton said.
Pastor Charles says the city must take one step at a time, remain prayerful and stay focused. He added that the doors to his church are always open and he is available to help those in need.
For immediate assistance, call the Crisis Hotline—(716) 834-3131.
If you would like to help the Buffalo City Mission, visit their website.
- Verified fundraisers — people who organized each fund in parentheses:
- Buffalo Mass Shooting Help The Families Fund (Board of VictimsFirst.org)
- the families of the victims of Buffalo shooting (OnCore Golf CEO Keith Blakely)
- Buffalo Memorial (Reporters Ron Insana and Luke Russert)
FeedMore was born from the merger of Food Bank of WNY and Meals on Wheels for WNY.
- Accepting food donations at 91 Holt St. from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays
- Requesting donations of nonperishable protein items, shelf-stable fruits and vegetables, beverages and snack items, as well as toilet paper and related personal care products, and diapers.
- Donate at this link.
- Call (716) 822-2002 with any questions
Buffalo Community Fridge
A volunteer-led network of community fridges dedicated to giving Buffalo communities access to fresh and healthy food.
- Accepting food donations at 257 E. Ferry St.
- baby food and formula
- labeled cooked meats
- No longer accepting monetary donations at this time
- Included a list of other organizations accepting donations
- Inquiries: BuffaloCommunityFridge@gmail.com
Buffalo 5/14 Survivors Fund
- 100% of funds donated to families of all 13 victims, as well as others in the store
- Established by National Compassion Fund in partnership with Tops
- Hopes to partner with local leaders and businesses
- More information available on the fund’s website
Erie County Clerk’s Office/Auto Bureau
Food drop-off drives are happening at the Clerk’s Office, as well as several Auto Bureau locations:
- Erie County Clerk’s Office (92 Franklin St., Buffalo)
- Erie County Auto Bureau (Rath Building, 170 Pearl St., Buffalo)
- Eire County Auto Bureau (Southgate Plaza, 1088 Union Rd., West Seneca)
- Erie County Auto Bureau (Sheridan Plaza, 2309 Eggert Rd., Town of Tonawanda)
- Erie County Auto Bureau (Urbandale Plaza, 2122 George Urban Blvd., Cheektowaga)
- Erie County Auto Bureau (Highland Plaza, 6853 Erie Rd., Derby)
One Love Fundraiser
Chef Darian Bryan says Rasta Pasta and Jerk Chicken dinners will be served Friday, May 20 at Larkin Square. Dinners will be served from 4 to 7 p.m.
All proceeds will go directly to the families of the victims. To order pre-sale tickets, click or tap here.
Thurman Thomas Family Foundation
- Accepting donations for efforts to impact families of victims and surrounding community
- Working with community leaders and advocates for families
Mental Health Resources
Johnny B, Wiley Center
- 1110 Jefferson Ave.
- Mental health resources, food, other resources and assistance
- Assisting families and community residents impacted by the mass shooting
- Daily from 1-9 p.m. through May 27
Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a reporter in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, N.Y., a sister station of News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of her work here.