A college junior baking babka. A Spanish teacher making empanadas from her native Argentina. An out-of-work pizza chef looking to fill her time while applying for unemployment.
These women turned to a place they know well in the absence of stores, restaurants and jobs to go to: their kitchens. They’re among other resourceful New Yorkers who have started up side gigs during the pandemic, selling food to those in their buildings and neighborhoods and sometimes even farther afield. For those fortunate enough to have their incomes, these scrappy food startups represent a way to support their neighbors: “I’m able to work from home, and my salary has stayed the same, but a lot of people in my neighborhood are gig workers or freelance,” Tiffany Tummala told The New York Times, “and I know a lot of people are struggling.”
It’s not just about building a business, but also weaving together a community during fragmented and troubled times. Many are giving away food for free or by donation. “Knowing that you’re going to enjoy this pizza and that it’s going to make your life easier,” says pizza-baker Miriam Weiskind, “that is the greatest thing that you can pay me.” Another, 22-year-old Rachel Davis, is donating all proceeds from apartment-based cookie operation to food banks and social justice orgs.
Read more on The New York Times.