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BUFFALO STRONG: Neighbors help neighbors stay positive in Colden amid coronavirus outbreak

Posted at 5:51 PM, Mar 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-27 18:58:57-04

COLDEN, N.Y. (WKBW) — It's a small town. The kind where everybody knows everybody. But at this time of crisis, they're not seeing much of anyone anymore. Yet the town of Colden is finding ways to support each other and to keep one another positive.

"We see the same people every day, usually several times a day," said Julie Fronckowiak, the owner of Colden Market and Cafe, "Recently it's been hard for us and our community because there's just not that much interaction anymore."

This past week, Fronckowiak found the windows of her store covered in hand made positive messages from the community. She said it was touching.

"You never really feel like you're tackling the world's problems by yourself," said Fronckowiak.

The Colden Market and Cafe is doing their part to help the community as well. Fronckowiak lowered the price of deliveries, so anything from the store can be brought to families' homes for just $2. They also throw in some toilet paper, and if they have it, hand sanitizer too. They're also giving away two free pizzas a day to families in need the community nominates.

Pat Thoman is the executive director of Bread of Life Outreach Center. The center is a food bank, among other things. Thoman said the market also donated pizza to volunteers who help organize the food bank events. She said it was uplifting as the Bread of Life Outreach Center faces a growing need.

"At 150 families served, we ran out of food. We had to shut down," Thoman said.

But she said the community has been responsive.

"Western New York has always been such a take care of each other town," Thoman said.

While they are social distancing, the COVID 19 outbreak has only seemed to bring this town closer.

"This town has always been very caring and supportive and friendly. This, more or less, underscores it. It's nothing that surprises us," Fronckowiak said.

"We appreciate any support from the media on good things happening because we all need to hear that," Thoman said.