May 14 left a permanent mark on Buffalo, especially for residents of the East Side. After the racist attack by a white supremacist at Tops on Jefferson Ave, community members and organizations began to organize mutual aid efforts.
With headquarters just a block away from Tops, Open Buffalo was one of these. Following the attack, Open Buffalo partnered with Black Love Resists in the Rust (BLRR) and canvassed the neighborhood to assess community needs. They distributed hot lunches in front of their office and assisted with providing access to mental health resources. They also delivered food to those who felt unsafe leaving their homes.
Buffalo Community Fridge (BCF) also stepped up by mobilizing its former location on East Ferry Street to distribute food and basic household necessities to those directly affected by supermarket’s closure. They directed all media inquiries to Black-led organizations mobilizing similar efforts in the neighborhood.
The African Heritage Food Co-Op partnered with the World Central Kitchen to deliver 1.600 pounds of food every day until late July. Colored Girls Bike Too (CGBT) partnered with other organizations, such as BLRR, for mobile food popups. CGBT also assessed mental health needs and created an ecosystem of providing black-led resources.
Inspired by BLRR and 211 WNY, University at Buffalo School of Social Work created a community resource page that included food resources, mental health services, and donation links. As of March 2023, the resource page is still maintained for the community to utilize.
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