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Community coming together in the wake of Tops mass shooting

The Buffalo Community Fridge is stepping in to help get food to people in the community.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The city of good neighbors is coming together following a tragic shooting at a Jefferson Avenue Tops.

At a press conference on Sunday, Mayor Byron Brown announced a few community donations coming in.

West Herr Automotive Group has committed to giving $300,000 for grief counseling and other services for the relatives of the victims who lost their lives.

Zephyr and Cross Country Mortgage has committed $50,000 for the funeral costs. Information about how to get those funds is available at the mayor's office by calling (716) 851-4841. 

On Monday, Delaware North announced it would also be committing money to help the community recover.

Delaware North CEOs Jerry Jacobs Jr., Lou Jacobs and Charlie Jacobs released the following statements:

"Delaware North is devastated by the unthinkable act of violence committed in the City of Buffalo on May 14. We have committed $250,000 to help our city recover in the near and long term. We are in active conversation with community and business leaders to understand where these funds will have the most impact for the community and those affected by this tragedy."

New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association, Inc., (NYSCOPBA) announced on Tuesday it is donating $10,000 to FeedMore WNY.

“We are heartbroken over this weekend’s horrific shooting in Buffalo. Something as simple as grabbing a few things at the grocery store on a Saturday afternoon could forever change so many lives in an instant," NYSCOPBA President Michael Powers said. 

"This type of hate and violence has no place in our society, and providing support to the Buffalo community that was impacted by this tragedy, and to our brothers and sisters in law enforcement who responded to this incident, is the least we can do. As a labor organization that prides itself in unity and being integral parts of our respective communities, making a sizable donation to an organization like FeedMore WNY is something that we’re proud to do. I call on other statewide labor unions to consider donating to this community in its time of need.”

Many people walk to the Tops at Jefferson Avenue or take public transit to get there.

The Buffalo Community Fridge stepped in to help out because there's no word when the store might reopen. They stocked their fridge with food for those in need with fresh produce, milk, eggs, cheese, water, or juice.

FeedMore WNY is partnering with Resource Council of WNY to distribute food donations to community members on Monday, May 17, through Friday, May 27 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Resource Council of WNY, located at 347 E. Ferry St, Buffalo.

Also at Johnnie B. Wiley Pavilion, 1100 Jefferson Ave., Tuesday, May 17 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 18 through Friday, May 27 from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m

While Community Fridge is no longer accepting monetary donations because of the overwhelming community response, you can still send donations to Feedmore WNY.  They will be used to help people in that community. 

People interested in donating fresh and non-perishable food can do so at 257 E. Ferry Street on Sunday where they will have volunteers there to help bag and distribute food.



Slow Roll Buffalo announced that the ride scheduled for Monday night will now be a food distribution.

The group is partnering with the African American Heritage Food Co-Op and Lexington Co-Op. Food and cash donations will be accepted Monday at Em Tea Coffee Cup on Oakgrove Avenue from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Free food will be distributed from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. or until supplies run out.

Janelle Brooks, president of Slow Roll Buffalo said "Slow Roll Buffalo's mission is to provide inclusive community experiences, that connect people, places and causes by bicycle - we are more than just a bike ride, and we are answering this call to serve our community."

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The Family Help Center announced that it would be extending its hours Tuesday through Friday, opening at 9 a.m. each day and staying open all day. The organization welcomes all families, but especially those who relied on the closed Tops store.

The Center is location on 60 Dingens Street in the Clinton Bailey area.

A telephone helpline is also available as an access point for information and supportive services at 716-892-2172. Parents and caregivers can call to receive assistance and can remain anonymous.

Tops announced that it will be providing a shuttle service for people to get to a nearby store on Elmwood Avenue. The shuttle will run from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. People can get the shuttle at Jefferson Avenue and Riley Street.

Tops release the following statement:

"While the Tops location at Jefferson Avenue will remain closed until further notice, we are steadfast in our commitment to serving every corner of our community as we have for the past 60 years. Knowing the importance of this location and serving families on the east side of the city, we have taken immediate steps to ensure our neighbors are able to meet their grocery and pharmacy needs by providing free bus shuttle service starting today. The schedule today is from 10am - 5pm and then beginning tomorrow, Monday from 10am – 7pm daily from Jefferson Ave & Riley St. to the nearby Tops on Elmwood Ave. 

"We are also working closely with Council Member Ulysees Wingo Sr., who represents the Masten District, to provide free food and supplies to our neighbors via the Resource Council of WNY at 347 East Ferry St. in Buffalo."

Buffalo Creek Academy took to social media to announce they will be offering free grocery assistance to people who live in the area around the grocery store.

The organization asked people to call (716) 217-2661 to get food delivered from a different Tops.

Gov. Kathy Hochul said at the Sunday press conference that her office has contacted Uber and Lyft to get free rides for people who live around the grocery store to get free rides to other stores. 

Later Sunday night, Lyft shared the code "BuffaloLyftUp" for riders to use for up to $25 in the app in the 14208 and 14209 to get to Tops Friendly Markets on 425 Niagara Street and  Price Rite on 250 Elmwood Avenue. 

Uber riders can use the code "SHOPBUF" in the app for up to $20 off a ride. There is a maximum of eight riders per customer.

Hochul also mentioned she contacted Rev. Al Sharpton with the National Action Network, which has a local branch, who said they would like to pay for all the funeral expenses. Hochul said this measure was in place to make sure people were not creating fake GoFundMe pages to steal money by pretending to raise money for the victims. 

Sunday afternoon GoFundMe launched a centralized hub for verified fundraisers related to the Buffalo mass shooting.  

"To make it easier for people who want to support those affected, GoFundMe launched a centralized hub to identify all verified fundraisers related to the Buffalo mass shooting. The hub is regularly updated as new fundraisers are verified by the Trust & Safety team and house many fundraisers supporting impacted families and individuals," said officials from GoFundMe in a press release.

The fundraisers can be found here: https://www.gofundme.com/c/act/buffalo-mass-shooting-fundraisers 

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