BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a partnership with ride-sharing apps Uber and Lyft to help members of the affected communities get to grocery stores after Saturday’s mass shooting shut down the Tops location on Buffalo’s East Side.
Tops is also providing a shuttle for residents to get to its Elmwood Avenue location while the Jefferson Avenue store is closed.
“The site of the shooting was located in a so-called ‘food desert’ and served as the lone supermarket within walking distance for many Buffalonians,” Hochul’s office said in a press release.
Riders in the zip codes 14208 and 14209 can receive a free ride to and from two local grocery stores, Hochul announced. The stores are Tops Friendly Markets (425 Niagara St.) and Price Rite (250 Elmwood Ave.).
Lyft code: Use BuffaloLyftUp to get $25 in the Lyft app.
Uber code: Use SHOPBUF to get up to $20 off a ride, with a maximum of eight rides per customer.
* * *
If you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis, help is available. Erie County’s Crisis Hotline is available 24 hours a day: 716-834-3131. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is also available 24 hours a day: 1-800-273-8255. For more information, visit CrisisServices.org.
* * *
The Office of Victim Services helps fund the following programs that can help victims and family members file claims for assistance and also provide crisis counseling, support groups, advocacy and other services, Hochul’s office said.
Any victim of crime and their family members are eligible for those services. Programs can also be found at www.ovs.ny.gov/connect.
- Erie County Medical Center: BRAVE (Buffalo Rising Against Violence at ECMC) and SNUG
- Erie County District Attorney’s Office
- Center for Elder Law & Justice Inc.
- Community Services for Every1
- Erie County Probation Department
- International Institute of Buffalo, Inc.
- Neighborhood Legal Services Inc
- Northwest Buffalo Community Center, Inc.
Additionally, the National Action Network has offered to cover any additional funeral expenses for the families of the victims of the shooting, Hochul’s office said, and New York State is closely coordinating to ensure that the money is getting to those who need it. The OVS can also cover funeral and burial expenses up to $6,000, Hochul’s office added.
The Jefferson Tops Markets location is unable to distribute any groceries, such as perishable items or baby formula at this time, as it remains an active crime scene.
“Tops has been working with the Resource council Center of WNY on East Ferry where we have a tractor trailer filled with pallets of the staple items people have been asking for like bread, milk, eggs, cereal, juice that are free on a first come first serve basis,” a Tops spokesperson told News 4.
* * *
Nick Veronica is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a Digital Executive Producer in 2021. He previously worked at NBC Sports and The Buffalo News. You can follow Nick on Facebook and Twitter and find more of his work here