RXR has pledged to contribute $100,000 dollars toward the construction of a new community kitchen and educational space at 805 East 139th Street in Mott Haven, South Bronx. Led by East Side House Settlement, one of the oldest community-based non-profit organizations in The Bronx, the Community Teaching Kitchen will provide on-site training and certification programs for 50 students per year.
The goal is to create employment pathways and opportunities for local community members and alleviate the lack of access to fresh food and groceries in the area.
“East Side House has long been a staple in the South Bronx—since the pandemic helping provide meals to food insecure communities across the borough,” said congressman Ritchie Torres (NY-15). “Investment in community organizations like East Side House are key in ensuring residents of the South Bronx have access to services and education they need and deserve. I am proud to have secured $600,000 in funding for this impactful organization and am encouraged by the contribution by RXR.”
The facility will also allow the non-profit to expand its “Harvest to Haven” program, which sources and purchases surplus crops from struggling farmers and distributes that produce to families in The Bronx. Additional operations at the facility will include a small business incubator, an event and activity space for workshops and afterschool programming, and a cooking space to prepare over 8,000 meals a day for food-insecure community residents through the Home Delivered Meals program.
“Throughout the pandemic and since breaking ground on new development, we’ve worked in tandem with East Side House Settlement to support South Bronx residents with impactful community-first initiatives, including a food drive in April 2020 that served thousands of local residents at a critical moment,” said Joseph Graziose, senior vice president of residential development at RXR. “Today, we are proud to follow congressman Torres’s leadership with our own commitment of $100,000 to directly support a new community-led kitchen—an innovative solution and workforce development asset that will open doors to the culinary world for young people in the South Bronx.”
Along with the financial contribution, RXR will also provide pro bono technical services to support the construction of the teaching kitchen.