In the wake of the racially motivated mass shooting at the Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo on Saturday, May 14, the surviving community is now in a food desert. Food deserts are geographic areas where residents have few to no convenient options for securing affordable and healthy foods—especially fresh fruits and vegetables.
The Tops grocery store was a godsend to the area when it opened in July 2003.
According to, McKinsey Quarterly, “one out of every five Black households is situated in a food desert, with few grocery stores, restaurants, and farmers markets.”
Food and agriculture, like everything else in this country, are deeply intertwined with our nation’s entrenched history of slavery and structural racism. The American food system actively silences, marginalizes, and disproportionately impacts people of color.
With Tops indefinite closure, many people need alternatives to get food and other essential resources. Now, residents must travel upwards to 15 to 20 minutes to the nearest grocery store, which is roughly four miles away.
Here’s how you can help the victims’ families and the Buffalo community:
Rooted in Love
Rooted in Love is a local, Black-founded nonprofit since 2018. CEO and founder, Tesha Parker provides fresh produce, non-perishable food items and hygiene products to the homeless, impoverished, and those who are simply in need. Rooted in Love is accepting donations for produce, herbs, condiments, sauces, pasta, dairy products, canned goods, cereal and snacks.
You can also make monetary donations on their website.
Every Bottom Covered
The most vulnerable lives—the babies—cannot be forgotten in this crisis either.
WNY Postpartum Connection connected with Every Bottom Covered, another local, Black-founded nonprofit. Every Bottom Covered is the first and only diaper bank in Western New York and provides clean basic hygiene supplies to low-income families. A diaper drive will be held through May 27 to help the families affected by the shooting. With a shortage of baby formula already plaguing the country, the organization is looking for diapers, (sizes four through seven), wipes, diaper cream and diaper bags.
Monetary donations can be made on their website, here.
According to the local NBC affiliate 2 WGRZ, The Buffalo Community Fridge has been directing people to donate money to FeedMore WNY after an overwhelming community response on Sunday.
The Buffalo Community Fridge is not accepting monetary donations.
The Buffalo Community Fridge is warning people about a fake Venmo account that is impersonating them with the username @blfocommunityfridge- or any other variation of the name.
Those looking to offer time and volunteer, the Buffalo Community Fridge is asking for help organizing, handing out donations, cleaning, and stocking at the 257 East Ferry location.
BFC is also accepting non-perishable food items and especially water bottles, Gatorade, as well as toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, dish soap, and formula are needed.
FeedMore said food donations are being accepted Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday noon to 4 p.m. at 91 Holt Street.
Black Love Resists in the Rust
Black Love Resists in the Rust a local Black organization that formed in 2014, originally called Just Resisting following the death of Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO. In 2017 the collective developed into the BLRR supporting those harmed by policing practices in the City of Buffalo. BLRR is collecting donations for food and mental health support in a partnership with Colored Girls Bike Too and other community members.
Go Fund Me
Go Fund Me has verified fundraisers below to help the individuals and families affected.
New York State Attorney General Letitia James did issue an alert to New Yorkers to be aware of fraudulent charities that were created following the shooting. James offered tips on how to not get scammed while making a donation.