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Merchants colleagues present donations to FeedMore WNY

From left: Merchants’ President Charles Makey; Janice Wojtanik, Executive Assistant to the President, Merchants Insurance Group; Matt Sedita, Facilities Supervisor, Merchants Insurance Group; Erica Dalton, Marketing Supervisor, Merchants Insurance Group; Caitlin Evans, Donor Engagement Director, FeedMore WNY.

Merchants Insurance Group Presents Employee and Company Donations to FeedMore WNY Following Tops Tragedy


In the aftermath of the horrific mass shooting at Tops Friendly Markets in Buffalo, N.Y. on May 14th, Merchants Insurance Group began collecting non-perishable food items, baby products, toiletries, paper products, and monetary donations from colleagues to support the affected community.

“We condemn this act of pure evil,” Merchants Insurance Group President Charles Makey stated regarding the May 14th attack. “We will join the community in support to be what Buffalo is known for as the ‘City of Good Neighbors.”

On Tuesday, May 31, 2022, Makey, accompanied by several Merchants colleagues, brought all donations to FeedMore WNY’s warehouse, located at 91 Holt Street. Merchants Insurance Group’s total donation, comprised of colleague and company contributions, included over 288 pounds of non-perishable items and $4,000 in monetary donations. These donations were not only from Merchants’ Corporate Headquarters and Western Regional Office in Buffalo, N.Y., but also from our non-local regional offices. Merchants’ regional offices outside of Buffalo are located in Bedford, N.H., Hauppauge, N.Y., and Mt. Laurel, N.J.

“I am so proud to work with such a generous team at Merchants Insurance,” Charles Makey said. “Thank you for giving back!”

FeedMore WNY is a non-profit 501(c)(3) with a mission “to offer dignity, hope and a brighter future by providing nutritious food, friendship and skills training to our Western New York neighbors in need,” ( They distribute donations to food pantries and shelters throughout the region, in addition to delivering meals to homebound members of the community.

Caitlin Evans, Donor Engagement Director of FeedMore WNY, with Merchants’ Janice Wojtanik, Charles Makey, and Matt Sedita at FeedMore WNY warehouse

Caitlin Evans, Donor Engagement Director of FeedMore WNY, with Merchants’ Janice Wojtanik, Charles Makey, and Matt Sedita.

Throughout the weeks following the tragedy, FeedMore WNY has partnered with other local non-profit organizations such as the Resource Council of WNY to help ensure the community that relied on the Jefferson Avenue Tops has access to food and other necessities.

“We continue to be amazed by the response from the Western New York community. From businesses like Merchants Insurance Group to individuals donating products and their time, Western New York is showing that love is greater than any act of hate. But by no means is the work done yet. We continue to be in need of donations and volunteers to support our efforts of providing nutritious food to everyone affected by this tragedy,” Cait Evans, Donor Engagement Director for FeedMore WNY, said.

Charles Makey, Merchants Insurance Group, and Caitlin Evans, FeedMore WNY, with Merchants donation check

Charles Makey, President of Merchants Insurance Group, & Caitlin Evans, Donor Engagement Director of FeedMore WNY

Contributions from Merchants colleagues continued throughout the day on Tuesday, even after the donation drop-off. Ultimately, funds totaled $4,000, $500 more than when the check had been printed!

As the community grieves in the aftermath of this tragedy, President Charles Makey requests that we continue to think about those affected and how we can help. In a statement to all colleagues, he said, “I ask that you please keep the victims and their families in your hearts and prayers.”

To learn more about the important work of FeedMore WNY, how to help support their mission through donating or volunteering, or if you are in need of food assistance, visit


About FeedMore WNY

FeedMore WNY offers dignity, hope and a brighter future by providing nutritious food, friendship and skills training to its Western New York neighbors in need. Through its food bank distribution center and partner hunger-relief agencies, as well as its home-delivered meal program, other targeted feeding programs and RISE workforce development training, FeedMore WNY alleviates hunger and assists community members of all ages throughout Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties. More information can be found at

Katherine Trautwein

Merchants Insurance Group

Merchants Insurance Group sells its products through a network of more than 1,000 independent insurance agents in Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. We sell our products through independent insurance agents because we believe they provide value to policyholders through their broad range of products and their insurance expertise.