Buffalo neighborhood rallies to keep neighbors fed after Tops shooting

BUFFALO — Gigi’s Restaurant, an legendary Buffalo staple, fed the metropolis for decades, from its 1960 opening to 2015, when a fire ruined the business. On Sunday, the historic East Facet soul food stuff restaurant’s exterior came alive the moment once again to feed the neighborhood.

The day right before, a white 18-year-old person drove three hrs from his dwelling in the Southern Tier to the Tops Friendly Marketplaces retailer at 1275 Jefferson Ave., and opened fireplace, officials said, focusing on Black residents. Ten people were being killed and 3 many others hurt 11 of the 13 victims were being Black.

Compounding the devastation, the shooting shut the neighborhood’s only grocery store, leaving people scrambling for essential materials and other solutions the Tops supplied. 

Buffalonians rallied speedily to guidance their possess: In the hrs following the shooting, they shared sources to get support and methods to donate meals and other critical home products. Among the them was the Buffalo Group Fridge, which immediately became a person of the most-shared sources.

Large food donations and tables were set up at the Buffalo Community Fridge on East Ferry Street in Buffalo, NY to provide food that neighbors would have normally got at the nearby Tops Friendly Market on Jefferson Ave.  on May 15, 2022. The area was crowded with people dropping off donations and getting food.

Situated at 257 East Ferry in Buffalo, outside of the old Gigi’s, the Buffalo Community Fridge is element of a volunteer-led network of group fridges. The plug-in fridge, painted by group customers and volunteers, has been up and working because August of last year. 

On Sunday, donations truly overflowed. 

Kendall Wooden, 17, stood keeping a indicator that read “Donations.” He arrived at 11 a.m. and stayed throughout the working day.  A resident of Clarence, Wooden has family in the Jefferson region. He stated he felt like he wanted to be there and support nonetheless probable.