ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A Rochester-based community garden organization is partnering with residents to help replenish Buffalo’s Jefferson Avenue neighborhood with food supplies.
After decades of neglect and decline, the area along Buffalo’s East Side has become a “food desert” over the previous ten years. The Tops Market located there was the center of a mass shooting that claimed the life of 10 people Saturday; it was also one of the last remaining places with wide access to food.
Since the racist, live-streamed shooting rampage led by a white gunman happened, makeshift food banks have been set up across the neighborhood.
490 Farmers in Rochester are adding to those food banks with the help of the community.
“I’m a native of Buffalo, New York and I frequent that Tops actually and two weekends ago, I was in that neighborhood so it’s very connected to my heart,” said 490 Farmers Executive Director Courtney Klee. “The work that we do here, consistently feeding our community and where we are, we don’t have a grocery store either so I know what it’s like to lose access to food.”
Organizers held an in-person food drive Wednesday, but will continue to accept donations ahead of Sunday, before traveling to their westside neighbors to drop off the collected items.
490 Farmers was founded in the Fall of 2017. The grassroots crew of local neighbors and friends created a community garden on a vacant lot beside I-490 in Southeast Rochester.