BUFFALO N.Y. (WIVB) – Record-high gas prices at the pump are hitting many drivers hard, including neighbors in Buffalo, who are also dealing with the tragedy of the Tops mass shooting. To help the Jefferson Avenue community, a pastor from Michigan traveled to Buffalo to pay for people’s gas.

“A lot has been affected in the African-American community, so I just decided to come here and bring $10,000,” he said.

Cars began lining up at the Mandella Market Gas Station on E. Ferry Street, hours before a gas giveaway started.

“They say the early bird catches the worm,” said Buffalo resident Robert Cherry, who was second in line.

Pastor Lynch told News 4 he wanted to make sure those in the community have enough fuel to get to the grocery store.

“It was organized by people I had never met before,” Pastor Lynch said. “I met them as I touched down last night in the community. Just one police officer I talked to that helped me navigate and learn what store, what gas station. They say this is in the heart of the inner city of this community.”

With Tops on Jefferson Avenue still closed following the May 14 shooting, the nearest grocery store for people who live on the East Side is miles away. Pastor Carlton Lynch said helping people travel to buy food is the least he can do to help this community.

“This has become, in a sense, a food desert since the tragedy, so I just thought about bringing resources to the community,” Pastor Lynch said. “A lot of people are coming to give respect and honor the fallen but I also wanted to do that and bring about help and aid to those that are still here grieving through this tragedy.”

“Every time I step in my car, I always think about gas,” Cherry said. “It’s really helpful around this time and what not — you know what I mean. For the people, me, myself included. Thank God for the blessings that we do have.”

Gail Crawford shared a similar sentiment, as she also received free gas.

“It’s good to have this because gas has gone up. I used to fill up on $20 and I think I fill up on $30, $40 now,” she said. “It’s helpful, very helpful.”

Pastor Lynch also joined News 4 at 4 Monday. That interview can be seen below.