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Bills Mafia donations help Mafia Meals deliver dozens of Thanksgiving meals

mafia meals
Posted at 5:41 PM, Nov 22, 2022

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Even as the winter storm buried region in the snow this past weekend, it is not slowing down plans to get holiday meals to neighbors in need.

Several local companies, including volunteers from 26 Shirts, Hope Rises, 716 Realty, Helping Hands Movers and Labatt, packed dozens of Thanksgiving meals to pass out to those in need.

On Sunday, the Mafia Meals food drive and tailgate was planned to be outside of Highmark Stadium, but the snow moved the Buffalo Bills game to Detroit, ultimately changing plans for the group.

Despite that, it didn't stop the mafia members from getting the meals out there to the community, but it took some planning to determine how they will go about passing out meals. It all started with a tweet, which quickly became a call to action for Bills Mafia members everywhere.

"One person sends a tweet explaining the situation and friends share it and it explodes instantly," Daniel Frederick said.

"Bills Mafia, we're all about community," Ashleigh Dopp added.

The Bills Mafia ended up raising more than $6,000 in just 24 hours to make this opportunity of giving back possible. On Tuesday morning, the Mafia Meals members gathered at Soho on Chippewa so they could distribute dozens of Thanksgiving meals to families who need it the most right now.

"We turned the money around immediately to be able to deliver the meals to people who weren't in immediate driving distance. Went to Wegmans, in a day made 200 dinners," Frederick added.

Dozens of Wegmans meals were packed up to be brought to WNY families on Tuesday.

Dopp, a Mafia Meals member, was overwhelmed by how quickly this became an all hands on deck effort.

"I mean this community is unbelievable and we're so thankful for everyone who's helped," she said.

One by one, cars were packed up to deliver the meals to families all over Western New York. Frederick made some deliveries to families in the Southtowns.

"Some of these people may not even have food in their pantries right now," he said.

Inside each bag was a freshly packed Thanksgiving dinner, and some even filled with diapers, toys or essentials. Dopp said she hopes this becomes an annual event after how successful it was.

"We truly think this is just kinda carry on and it's gonna get bigger and bigger," Dopp said.

A soon-to-be annual tradition is having a lasting impact on Western New York families.