Campus News

UB encouraging donations, support for community in need


Published May 17, 2022

“As a community, we must come together to offer comfort and support. To our students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the UB community, you are not alone. ”
Despina Stratigakos, vice provost for inclusive excellence and unit diversity officers

Members of the UB community are working to provide comfort and support to people in need following Saturday’s mass shooting at a Tops supermarket in Buffalo.

This includes directing the campus to support services, providing guidance and information on charitable organizations and businesses that serve the predominantly Black community where the shooting occurred, organizing food drives and other activities.

“We grieve the 10 people whose lives were lost, as well as the injured, the traumatized, and the families and friends left mourning. We share your sadness and anger at the tragedy that has shocked our city. Together — as a university, as a city, as a community — we lament the lives both lost and harmed,” Despina Stratigakos, vice provost for inclusive excellence, says in a statement of solidarity with UB’s unit diversity officers.

“As a community, we must come together to offer comfort and support. To our students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the UB community, you are not alone,” the statement says.

The Office of Inclusive Excellence (OIX) has a created website that includes the full text of the statement, as well as links providing information on university resources and community resources, and ways to support people in need.

Tops is the only supermarket serving the immediate neighborhood where the shooting occurred.

With the store temporarily closed, OIX and others are encouraging donations to Black-led organizations that serve the neighborhood, including the African Heritage Food Coop and Feed Buffalo.

They also suggest giving community groups that serve that neighborhood, including Black Love Resists in the Rust, Open Buffalo and the Fruit Belt Community Land Trust.

On campus, numerous groups have started food drives and/or are serving as clearinghouses for food donation.

For example, Campus Dining & Shops is organizing a food drive, with collection boxes to be placed at numerous dining locations on the North and South campuses.

“We are currently working with Cold Spring Community Foundation, along with FeedMore WNY, to arrange deliveries of perishable and nonperishable food items,” says Raymond Kohl, director of marketing and communications.

Additionally, people may also donate food and resources at the FeedMore WNY warehouse, 91 Holt St., Buffalo, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

A student fills a bag with donatated food from the Blue Table Food Pantry.

A volunteer with Blue Table packs a bag of food. Photo: Meredith Forrest Kulwicki

Elsewhere, UB’s online food pantry, Blue Table, is delivering food packages to the rooms of students who are upset by the shooting and subsequent social media threats. UB Police is monitoring the situation with fellow law enforcements agencies; they say there is no indication the posts are legitimate.

University leaders are also reaching out to their respective communities to encourage giving.

Jean Wactawski-Wende, SUNY Distinguished Professor and dean of the School of Public Health and Professions, delivered a message to the school encouraging members to donate to Buffalo Prep, which is collecting food for Buffalo Community Fridge. Donations can be dropped off from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 105 Allen Hall, South Campus. Buffalo Prep, which is based in Kimball Hall on South Campus, works to help talented underrepresented students prepare for, obtain entrance into, and excel at demanding college preparatory high schools.

The School of Nursing urges members of the UB community to support efforts by the Resource Council of WNY to distribute food boxes to families in need.

Volunteers are needed to work shifts at the council, located at 347 E. Ferry St., through May 22 and can sign up online.