Free Food! This generous community in the Bronx gives free food for anyone in the city
When you visit the Bronx in New York City, you don't have to worry about buying or spending money on food. According to the U.S Census, the city has about 1.4 million people; the place is the most racially diverse in the U.S.
With that, people in the Bronx extend as much help as they can. However, it's not just a little help that they do. The community in the city brings together people through pizza and other food. These communities provide free food, including pizza and fresh vegetables, to anyone in the town.
We all know how pizza can bring everyone in one place — thus, the people in the Bronx made it a habit to give free pizzas around the city. The free food in the Bronx was a way for families, especially in Riverdale, to give our food and connect to everyone during the pandemic.
Where it all started
In the first few weeks of implementing quarantine in the city, one of the Bronx's citizens, Aliza Abrams Konig, started the free-food-giving. She pre-ordered 30 pizzas in party sets to celebrate a Jewish holiday at her church. In the past years, they have always had a successful holiday event.
However, this year, it hit differently. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the first few confirmed cases in the city were located in New Rochelle, Bronx's neighboring town. It was predicted that cases would rise to 20,000 in the following months.
When people are fully aware of how dangerous the situation is, the whole city acted and started quarantine. Lockdown measures were also established to prevent the spread of the disease. Hence, the Jewish holiday Konig was supposed to attend to was canceled.
However, instead of canceling her pizza orders, Kogin still picked up the 30 party pizzas. She also gathered seven volunteers from her church and gave it to people who were in quarantine. According to Konig's interview with Reader's Digest, the people were happy for their help, including affected families and their children.
With that, Konig established the Pizza Brigade. Volunteers from all across the city gathered and started ordering pizza for those who are in need. Each week, they do the food-giving, up until the quarantine is over. The volunteers were able to help and feed over 100 families.
Aside from pizza, the generous act partnered with Lukasz Babiuch, Caffecino Bakery's owner, and started giving out bread weekly. The food was a Jewish bread called challah, in which they eat every week on Sabbath day.
The growing Pizza Brigade
As the weeks went by, the Pizza Brigade expanded its activities. More volunteers joined in to help everyone in the city. Aside from families and children, the brigade also gave out food for healthcare workers and front liners, who are continuously fighting against the pandemic.
The Pizza Brigade extended more pizzas at Montefiore Medical Center, and at Hatzalah, where most local volunteer ambulance standby. They also went to Weill Cornell Hospital and some other medical institutes and centers in the city.
The brigade did not only help the residents of the city and its healthcare workers. By ordering batches of pizzas, it had kept restaurants, and its employees stay in business amidst the pandemic.
Other communities in some places also adopted the idea of giving out food for those who need it. Stamford, Connecticut, New York, and more cities joined in and gave free pizzas to families and front liners. After all, sharing is caring.