Giving back: Buffalo man buys meals from local restaurants, donates them to people in need

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)–It’s often said that in times of crisis, it takes a village to help.

Buffalo resident Alan Zeffer is encouraging the Queen City to do that. After seeing the devastating effect the coronavirus pandemic had on local restaurants as well as charitable organizations, he decided to lend a helping hand.

He started “Our Village Buffalo” a GoFundMe where he orders food from local restaurants and delivers those meals to people in need across Western New York.

” There are so many reasons I could give why this project is important to me, but simply it’s just the right thing to do.”

Zeffer said he was inspired to help after learning that the number of people going to food banks has tripled during the pandemic and seeing his friends that work in the restaurant industry struggle trying to keep up with changing COVID restrictions.

“I’ve become friends with a few restaurant owners and their staff. Some feel like family. They’d give you the shirt of their back if you need it.”

Zeffer is contacting local charitable agencies to partner up with and distribute the meals but says he will hand food out on the streets if he has to. So far, Casey’s Black Rock and Hot Mama’s Canteen are involved, but he’s reaching out to other restaurants in hopes to help as many local businesses as he can.

“I’m asking people to please reach out if they or anyone they know is in need. Buffalo is my home, my happy place, a family member. We were going through an incredible rebirth and got stopped dead in our tracks. These are extreme times.”

If you would like to donate to Our Village Buffalo, click here. For information on how to become a participating restaurant or to receive a free meal, email

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