Mott Haven Fridge celebrates successful year with ‘Brunch on a Bronx Sidewalk’

It was a party in Mott Haven on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, as dozens enjoyed the festivities put on by the organizers behind the Mott Haven Fridge to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the community fridge.
Photos courtesy Pablo D. Castillo Jr.

The completion of more than one year in existence was more than enough reason to celebrate the Mott Haven Fridge — that fridge on the sidewalk — a community gathering place that offers free food for those in need.

To commemorate its one-year anniversary, Mott Haven Fridge held a Brunch on a Bronx Sidewalk event on Sunday, Sept. 12, with food, live music and a raffle. And the turnout was impressive for the group’s first-ever community brunch.

Organizers of the Mott Haven Fridge held a Brunch on a Bronx Sidewalk offering food, live music and a celebratory-like atmosphere for the South Bronx neighborhood.

The story of the Mott Haven Fridge is quite the unique one.

In 2020, while still battling the pandemic, a pair of middle school teachers organized to help residents of the area gain access to healthy food options in the South Bronx, an area known as a food desert.

Daniel Zauderer and Charlotte Alvarez, sixth-grade teachers at the American Dream School in Mott Haven, launched a community refrigerator at the intersection of 141st Street between Saint Ann’s and Crimmins avenues — an otherwise littered space with trash and neglected by passersby. That white fridge, which has since been artistically repainted, has become synonymous with the community, filled with fresh, donated produce.

The Mott Haven Fridge launched in September 2020, offering free food assistance to those in need. On Sunday, the organizers celebrated the fridge’s one-year anniversary.

The Mott Haven Fridge operates with a “take what you need, give what you can” philosophy and is stocked by a grassroots network of community partners, maintained by a team of local volunteers and provided with ongoing funding by the Bronx Community Foundation.

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