Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino Giving Free Slot Play for Food Donation

Posted on: May 25, 2022, 07:45h. 

Last updated on: May 25, 2022, 09:16h.

The Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino is holding a food drive today (May 25) for those affected by the May 14 supermarket mass shooting on the city’s East Side. The Jefferson Avenue Tops Friendly Market store remains closed, creating few options for the immediate community.

The Buffalo Tops Friendly Market
The Buffalo Tops Friendly Market, pictured above. The store remains closed and a local casino is sponsoring a food drive today. (Image: The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Today, between 11 am and 7 pm, the casino will accept non-perishable food and personal items like cereal, diapers, and toothpaste at its valet area. Those who drop off donations of five or more non-perishables will receive a $10 voucher for playing the venue’s slot machines.

Those who contribute $10 or more to the effort will also get the voucher. Monetary donations should be made to FeedMore WNY, a nonprofit, to its Emergency Response Fund online.

The voucher is valid at Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino. Players must be at least 21. The free slot play is valid for 24 hours.

The casino is located at 1 Fulton St. The initiative is undertaken with FeedMore WNY.

Requested Items

Among the items requested are basic toiletries, such as toilet paper, toothpaste/toothbrushes, and feminine products. Also, diapers and baby wipes. In addition, they are seeking disposable paper plates, plastic utensils, as well as disposable cookware, such as aluminum trays.

Basic cleaning products are also requested. These may include all-purpose cleaners and antibacterial wipes.

Cash and checks are not accepted at the food drop-off. Donations can be made online.

Casino employees have already undertaken their own food and personal items drive to assist the community. Hundreds of items have been donated so far, Spectrum News reported.

The casino is operated by Seneca Gaming Corporation (SGC). SGC is a tribally-chartered corporation of the Seneca Nation of Indians.

Shooting Leads to Temporary Loss of Food Store

Ten black individuals were killed and three other people were injured in the shooting. An 18-year-old suspect was arrested. Since the market was closed, concern arose over food availability in the East Side.

When the Tops store opened in 2003, the 29,000-square-foot grocery store was called the “first full-scale supermarket to serve the Jefferson Avenue community in several decades.” In the 1960s, an A&P store was located at the same site. But then it closed, and the neighborhood became what is termed a “food desert.”

It took a massive community effort to get Tops to locate there, NPR reported recently. Petitions were signed, rallies were held, church and community leaders advocated for the store.

Reopening Will Take Time

In a May 18 statement, Tops said it is “committed to opening up this community store as soon as we possibly can.” No time line for reopening is available until an inventory is done on the condition of the store. The interior will likely need to be repaired.

Police closed off the store to everyone except investigators after the shooting. Management is also trying to be sensitive to the needs of its workers and the community as far as the reopening.