BUFFALO, NY - Video has been making the rounds on social media showing donated food being intentionally destroyed outside a South Buffalo community resource center. The next day, a theft occurred outside the same center.
The Genesis Center on Seneca Street is a growing community resource center that offers a number of services to people who really need help, like food or clothing. And folks here say they're disappointed about what happened here last week -- all of which was caught on camera.
The video shows, on Thanksgiving, a man taking cardboard boxes with food and dumping the food on the ground. He then takes a table and knocks it over, then walking away. The next day, two men approach the center and one of them grabs the table and takes off with it.
"I was disappointed. I was really disappointed because the center is here for the help of South Buffalo, we had put food out, the night before on Wednesday that we hoped people could take and use for their Thanksgiving dinner," said Teresa Missel of the Genesis Center.
She says the food was donated to the center by the Food Bank of WNY and consisted of vegetables.
"Some of the packages (were) opened, some of the tomatoes were smashed and ended up going on other products...so yes unfortunately that food had to be destroyed," Missel said.
The Genesis Center put the video on Facebook, seeking to track the men down.
"The amount of views, shares, replies, phone calls, that I received from people who really care about the center was overwhelming," Missel said.
She says someone from the community donated a table replacing the table that was stolen.
The Genesis Center says it serves about 600 people a month and gives away donated goods to those in need of help -- clothing, shoes, business suits, food, it even offers medical check ups once a month. And, it has a surveillance system, with nine cameras spread through the facility.
"I want the community to know the center is here for them to help them, but we don't want to be taken advantage of or abused," Missel said.
The center says it plans to notify Buffalo Police about the incidents -- not to press charges -- but to reach out to the men to see if they need help.