The victims of Saturday’s racist and evil rampage were our neighbors, our community leaders, our family and our friends. While we mourn, we are also seeking the outcomes that would galvanize our city and make it stronger.
INVEST IN ACCESSIBLE FOOD SYSTEMS
Upon examining racism in our nation and our region, it is clear that the decades of disinvestment or under investment in East Side communities of color have created a very insecure food system. In the hours after Tops closed, we saw just how fragile access to nutrition is. City residents came from everywhere on Sunday to donate and pick up fresh food, which was a wonderful sign of Buffalonians being Buffalonians. But that is unfortunately not a long term solution.
Across the East Side, over 1 in 3 households does not own a personal vehicle. We need more grocery stores that people can access without having to get in a car. Fresh produce should be a walk or bike ride or quick transit trip away from everyone’s home.
That’s why we’re encouraging our audience to donate funds directly to the African Heritage Food Coop. AHFC has been operating in Buffalo and Niagara Falls for years, and is now on the cusp of opening their own Coop Flagship Store on Carlton Street in the Fruit Belt neighborhood. (Here’s the Channel 2 report on the Coop from this past January) This would be a major development in this movement, and focuses on empowering East Side community members as owners in their network.
BIKE MONTH EVENTS ALTERED, BUT STILL ON
In light of the President’s visit to Buffalo on Tuesday, our Bike to Work Day at Seneca One will be postponed to Wednesday. Still 8A – 11A. All other events are to run as scheduled. While certainly not as celebratory as originally planned, we believe that biking has brought the community together before, and can do so again. We encourage everyone to come, participate, discuss in earnest the state of our city over some coffee, and consider making a financial donation to African Heritage Food Coop in-person as well using the QR codes we’ll set up.
All beer and discount specials offered locally this week are currently seeming out of place and we are working to retool those promotions. Please stay tuned to our social for updates with our partners there. Thanks.