Boogie Down Bodega Boost

Yon Vilaj is putting the culture back into agriculture.

“Ayo Ali! Did you get the RAW Cones and that FOCO Soursop juice I told you about?”

“Are you serious my friend? Of course, we got it 2 days ago!”

That’s the type of love we like to get from our local grocer. Our bodega’s have held us down for as long as I can remember. As a matter of fact, I tripple-double-doggy-dare you to go into Duane Reade or Rite Aide and grab a few things and tell them you’ll pay’em back on payday. Or next time you’re in a rush to get to work, run into Starbucks and place your money on the counter, then walk out. Let’s see how far you get. Our bodegas are family! They make sure we have what we need, they’re available to us 24/7 and they only sell certain things to family, you know? So you better know someone.

With the Bronx being the sickest county in New York and the poorest congressional district in the entire United States, it’s time we start caring about what we eat and where it comes from. The Bronx is home to over 100 community gardens/urban farms and thousands of bodegas. The Bronx is made up of countless cultures and walks of life. We need food that is culturally appropriate as well as keep us alive. I don’t know about you, but kidney dialysis and heart disease aren't written in my happily ever after.

Yon Vilaj has created the program Boogie Down Bodega Boost. We were sick of waiting for someone to come “save us” from shitty food that is killing us. We as a community have the power to create the change we want to see.

Boogie Down Bodega Boost goes a lil’ somethin’ like this…

Yon Vilaj (“one village” in Creole) is hype to initiate a new and necessary program called Boogie Down Bodega Boost. Bodega Boost is a non-profit public program that seeks to engage neighbors and outlying community members of the Bronx in dynamic health initiative cooking demos, fresh local- grown produce and food sovereignty education. We seek to partner with local community gardens to provide fresh produce, flower blooms and herbs through the collective support of and to our bodegas.

Our aim is to be able to provide healthier food options/menus at delis with the help of the gardens, as well as visualized these green spaces as valuable resources to our community.

We are building mobile food stands that will display the fresh produce for sale from community gardens and have cooking demos by and for the community.

For the cooking demos we are partnering with community members to provide a volunteer service cooking demo with their choice of health-focused recipes for all to become involved in taking action on improving our community district’s health needs.

Please consider donating to our program and spread the word!