After the mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, Jamaican celebrity chef Darian Bryan teamed up with Grace Foods USA to lead a fundraiser for the families of the victims.
The shooting happened on May 14 when a lone gunman entered the TOPS supermarket in Buffalo, NY and shot dead ten unarmed civilians.
Chef Bryan felt the pain of seeing his hometown devastated by the tragic event and immediately decided to do whatever he could to help those affected. With the help of his wife Jessica, he invited the community to buy meals to raise funds for the families of the victims of this unimaginable crime.
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One of Chef Bryan’s first calls for support of the initiative was to GraceKennedy Foods, (USA) LLC (GK Foods USA).
Without hesitation, the Jamaica-based international food company came on board with a contribution of condiments and beverages for 1000 meals to be prepared by Bryan – 500 “rasta pasta” and 500 jerk chicken dinners. The initiative was also supported by Buffalo Bills legends Thurman Thomas and Bruce Smith and was conducted in partnership with Be a Blessing Buffalo and over 25 volunteers.
The sale of the meals raised $20,000 for the victims’ families, with an additional $30,000 raised through a donation link.
“As a Buffalo resident, I consider myself blessed and humbled to be able to transform the lives of families affected by this tragedy by doing what I do best, which is cooking,” said Chef Bryan.
“This would not have been possible without the support of GK Foods USA, Be a Blessing Buffalo, Sysco Wholesale Company, Larkin Square, Ocean Wealth Group, Dolce Panepinto, volunteers and the support of this robust community,” he added.
The news of the tragic event touched the entire GK team.
Kimberley Lue Lim, Global Category Manager at Grace Foods, commented: “When we were asked for support by Chef Bryan, we immediately asked: how can we help? GK is honored to be a part of this fundraising effort and is pleased with the outcome. I only hope that this community can find some kind of comfort through this outpouring of love. We will continue to pray for healing for the families of the victims and hope this never happens again.”
GraceKennedy Limited, the parent company of GK Foods, USA, has been bringing the taste of Jamaica to the world for 100 years. The company’s corporate social responsibility activities extend beyond the Caribbean to the many other communities it serves around the world, including New York, New Jersey and Florida in the United States.
Since the first fundraiser, Chef Bryan has continued to make a difference in Buffalo through his ongoing collaboration with World Central Kitchen (WCK), where he has prepared 750 meals twice a day for the community. WCK is a non-profit organization led by Chef Jose Andres dedicated to serving meals in natural disaster-affected areas around the world.
In the weeks after the 14th Shooting Bryan and other participating chefs and restaurants have partnered with WCK to meet the needs of the Buffalo, NY community served by TOPS Supermarket.
To help, visit: https://www.gofundme.com/c/act/buffalo-mass-shooting-fundraisers