Against the backdrop of the Overthrow boxing club on the Lower East Side, activist Power Malu is hoping to deliver a decisive blow against food insecurity by providing healthier options for people in need.
“They say there’s this thing about beggars can’t be choosers, but we are here to break the stigma,” Malu said.
He set up this community fridge, which is providing free, healthy, vegan options for struggling New Yorkers.
“What people think is just because you have a fridge you can put anything in there,” he said.
The idea came to Malu after he realized some food items being delivered to people in need during the pandemic were expired or not suitable for those with preexisting conditions.
“It’s a systemic issue,” Malu said. “The hardest hit communities are those that have the preexisting conditions that come from eating poorly.”
It’s become a lifeline for Katie Vasquez, who takes the train all the way down to Bleecker Street from Queens.
“Where I live there aren’t vegan options, so I’ll take a train here to get vegan things,” she said.
Sidney Quinn lives in the Bronx, but often works in the area doing Uber Eats.
“This is a blessing; it’s hard for people to get food,” Quinn said. “A lot of people in the community don’t have access to fresh vegetables.”