Mutual Aid Kitchen at La Morada; Partnership Guidelines
Our Mutual-Aid kitchen's mission is to feed our community with delicious, culturally-appropriate meals while nourishing our community with encouragement, empowerment, knowledge, and resilience-based on a Mutual-Aid practice.
Within our empowered community, we find safety in each other.
A nourished community is empowered to take back their food sovereignty and indigenous sovereignty.
We believe the Mutual-Aid system will surpass the pandemic and be our primary strategy in overcoming the long list of injustices our BIPOC community faces.
WHAT DOES MUTUAL-AID MEAN TO US?
Mutual-Aid relies on a system of trust, resilience, and resourcefulness. The Mutual-Aid system teaches individuals within a community to give what they can spare, ask for help when they need it, and repay the favor once they can.
Mutual-Aid is not charity.
Mutual-Aid is about community.
Mutual-Aid is learning to share and make the most of the limited resources available to a neglected and underfunded neighborhood.
Mutual-Aid is taking care of each other.
Mutual-Aid is having each other's backs when elected officials do not.
Mutual-Aid is about standing up to the enforcement of racist policies and practices such as Broken Windows and food apartheid, which target already underserved communities.
Mutual-Aid is about fighting food insecurity that stems from the local and federal government's negligence and the upper class's inaction.
Mutual-Aid is a movement that encompasses the core values of building and sustaining a community.
Mutual-Aid is feeding each other.
For our safety and the safety of our community, during food distribution hours, those participating with La Morada's Mutual-Aid Kitchen (including churches, nonprofits, activist-led grassroots groups, community fridges, and schools) are not to engage with the following entities:
- Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.)
- Homeland Security Investigation (H.S.I.)
- New York Police Department (N.Y.P.D.) +
- Gentrifiers- Individuals & groups that support developers/real estate and businesses that contribute to community displacement.
- Developers - especially those who rely on community displacement and exploitative practices to sustain the growth of their development
Working with, endorsing, and entrusting the entities mentioned above, endangers the lives and safety of our community. They place us at risk of displacement, separation and deportations of family, and emotional trauma. We encourage our partners to apply abolitionist practices as an alternative.
POLITICS AND ENDORSEMENT
When engaging with political parties, politicians, developers, elected officials and political candidates; we encourage partners to be mindful and reflect on how their policies and agendas could impact La Morada's community. We encourage partners to hold politicians accountable to their campaign promises and call out their harmful actions.
We do not endorse any political party, politician, gentrifier or developer on social media, so we ask our partners not to associate La Morada with those groups or individuals via their media communications.
Partners are overall encouraged to use social media in line with La Morada's values. They are not to tag or post about La Morada's Mutual-Aid kitchen or the South Bronx community for political or commercial gain.
We appreciate partners using social media to communicate and spread the word of La Morada's efforts, including a call to action to engage new volunteers and highlighting our mutual aid partners.
La Morada's social media is community-driven, and we love receiving suggestions and requests from partners on what positive initiatives we should be sharing on our platform. We encourage partners to reach out to us if they would like La Morada to share some of their content.
Partnerships should not ask for I.D. or hold any record of any person participating in receiving the meals other than the individual's phone number for logistical purposes.
Partners can not ask for payment during their distribution event for the free meals donated by La Morada’s Mutual-Aid Kitchen.
La Morada's staff are solely responsible for confirming the total number of meals to be served and delivery of those meals, at the start of each service day.
Delivery of meals is not guaranteed. Delivery service is based solely on volunteer availability and is subject to change on a daily basis. Partners must arrange for the pick-up of meals by 1 pm.
Mutual-Aid partners also have the responsibility to maintain their distribution site (i.e., community fridges, outdoor tabling area, dining area, etc.) and ensure everything is clean, tidy, and disinfected.
Food must be distributed within one hour from collection to ensure DOH health codes.
Failure to act in accordance with the safety parameters and guidelines mentioned above will automatically end our mutual agreement and capacity to receive from La Morada's Mutual-Aid Kitchen meals.
Mutual+Aid Kitchen at La Morada current needs:
Please consider donating the following:
-dry ingredients like rice and lentils
-fresh fruits and veggies
-sugar or any sweetner
-vinegar for fermenting and pickling
Ingredients donations can be drop off at La Morada 308 Willis Ave Bronx NY 10454 Tuesday-Saturday from 10am-5pm
You financial support will help us restore our current Mutual Aid kitchen
Donation through venmo:
Checks can be also mail to:
La Morada Restaurant
308 Willis Ave. Front Store
The Bronx, N.Y. 10454
We are in need of folks to deliver food using their vehicles, bikes, or walking to near by distance. If you will like to volunteer please show up at La Morada Tuesday-Saturday from noon-4pm. We are always in need of volunteers and appreciate any help that can be provided.
For the Record
La Morada x Covid 19 In the news:
Because of our political difference, we have ended our collaboration with World Central Kitchen. We mention political differences because in our relationship with World Central Kitchen (WCK) these were challenged to the point where we knew we needed to end our partnership. We were already struggling in our work with WCK due to distribution, pay, accessibility issues and ties with gentrifying forces when we found that they had worked with ICE during their aid work in Puerto Rico in 2017, and openly praised DHS police as allies in times of crisis then.
We are a small, undocumented family owned business and community space with deep ties in our neighborhoods, and we are people who believe and fight for a world where no human being is illegal, where there are open borders, families are not forcefully separated and our approach to harm in community is through restorative and transformative justice. We are grounded on those beliefs and know what that can look like in our lives, as we run a business and sustain a space for our communities. These beliefs, practices, and politics do not go away for us at times of crisis, but are as important and crucial if we want to not only survive this pandemia but also build solidarity and be true in our efforts.
We understand that WCK, as an organization, is distributing much needed food resources in different communities where food scarcity is constant and many other systemic issues have come to a breaking point in this pandemia. However, this does not mean an organization should not be held accountable to the community that needs their support, or that their system of organization and collaboration should not be questioned. Aid efforts should never put precarious communities in proximity to institutions and systems that harm or displace them, let alone even close to others who profit from their pain and exploitation. Aid efforts should be grounded on principles of social justice, mutuality, working class and poor people empowerment instead of policing, charity and profit.
We are working supremely hard to sustain this soup kitchen right now. We have yet to get any aid from any institution or organization, including consulates and the federal government. And to put things in perspective, we work to make 1000-1200 meals daily for people in need, out of which WCK was sponsoring 250 meals, at $10 a plate, which barely covered the cost of ingredients. We have done our own fundraising to be able to make up for the overhead costs. We noticed that WCK provided local, working class businesses less resources compared to other privileged restaurants, while also hearing that they had even more PPE resources that they were not sharing with our workers. This should not be the case, when there are organizations and people out there with vast resources that instead are put into public relations and elite businesses. Why should WCK work with mostly gentrifiers in the South Bronx, as well as BIDs and developers? When confronted, representatives of WCK would only say that they “do not discriminate” with regards to who is involved in aid efforts, but what we see is a pretty orchestrated effort by gentrifying businesses, elected officials and developer interests to gain public recognition as community benefactors while making way for a recovery that to them is founded on the displacement of working class and poor folk.
Not any organization or institution needs to be perfect in their aid. For example, we are going to partner with another organization that will offer $5 per plate rather than the $10 that we received with WCK, but we feel that the added troubles with WCK were too harmful to our community to let go unnoticed and unaccounted for.
The fact remains that WCK, in providing aid in Puerto Rico, had an easy going relationship with police agencies, in this case ICE. To be specific, they coordinated and leveraged HSI officers to also provide WCK food through the network of their policing work. HSI is an investigative unit part of ICE, with the same powers and priorities and enforcing goals that answer to the same policies and higher level officials as any other part of ICE. When requested to explain their coordinated efforts with ICE in Puerto Rico, WCK chose to nitpick at the events there and deny knowledge of ICE policing agencies, how they intersect, and of the harm they all cause. WCK chose to display their founder as a model immigrant in order to score diversity and acceptance points. It is disconcerting to witness WCK’s indifference to how their aid efforts might benefit from and amplify historically harmful, violent and oppressive systems and institutions. It is concerning to think that they are currently at work in immigrant communities in the Bronx and Queens, areas highly impacted by this crisis, without check and engaging in data gathering as well.
On May 8, 2020, we terminated our partnership with WCK. We hope that in moving forward they are receptive to measures of accountability from the communities that they want to say they support.
We also ask that folks always keep in mind their own role in helping communities in crisis who are in need, in ways that will empower people and not expose them. We ask that folks who work with WCK or other big organizations keep in mind that there are ways to hold them accountable and ask for transparency, especially when a lot of data from poor, working class, undocumented communities is being gathered and there’s no clarity on how it is being used and secured. Finally, resources can be distributed equitably and with the purpose of empowering people in their own communities to support one another and local businesses can do the labor of insisting these resources are fairly given and don’t put us in precarious, exploitative situations. There are ways to do this together, grounded on principles of true empowerment and social justice.