Bed-Stuy Strong is a group of neighbors helping neighbors in a spirit of solidarity. We are a mutual aid network of over 4,000 people from across Bed-Stuy who are supporting each other and our communities during the COVID-19 crisis. We crowdsource donations and use them to provide no-contact grocery deliveries for vulnerable members of our Bed-Stuy communities.
All of our members are ordinary folks volunteering their time and effort. We are not a government agency or a non-profit. You can learn more about our guiding principles here.
Given the times, Bed-Stuy Strong faces an incredible amount of need in our communities. Every day we receive hundreds of calls. We spend several thousand dollars daily to try to make sure our neighbors do not go hungry. We ask for your patience and support as we try to connect our community’s help to our community’s need.
I am in need.
If you live in Bed-Stuy and are experiencing hunger, please leave us a voicemail or send a text message to 917-451-5522. We will call you back to coordinate a no-contact delivery of essential groceries or medical supplies. As of March 3rd, our phone line opens Wednesdays at 3PM and closes once we have reached our capacity to deliver for the week.
As of mid-January 2021, we have moved to a set number of weekly food delivery slots based on the number of people who can deliver and to avoid a long wait time for delivery.
We apologize that we can’t meet your request immediately. We have received thousands of messages and respond in the order that requests are received, so there is no need to leave multiple voicemails.
We understand that you might need food quicker than we can get it to you. If you are experiencing hunger right now, please see our below list of food resources in Bed-Stuy or go to NYC.gov/getFood. If you would like to hear a list of these resources over the phone, please call 917-451-5522. Thank you for your patience. Our thoughts are with you.
A detailed list of food assistance options in Bed-Stuy and citywide is available here: bedstuystrong.com/resources
Anyone willing to go to a grocery store to shop for another person and be reimbursed for the shopping out of our community fund can become a Bed-Stuy Strong delivery volunteer; multiple delivery volunteers have also received food support. More delivery volunteers mean that more people can get food each week. See below for details on how to join. Bed-Stuy Strong is built on the belief that all of us have needs and all of us can offer help. We believe in community care, joined hands, and dignity afford to all people.
I need support to get a vaccine or want to support my elders in getting a vaccine.
We know that it isn't easy for everyone to navigate the technology and changing requirements of getting vaccinated. Bed-Stuy Strong is here to help!
If you're totally comfortable booking an appointment for yourself / your neighbor online, check out our guide to getting an appointment.
Are you an elder or essential worker who can fill out a short form yourself, but can't go through the whole booking process? You can check your eligibility here, and fill out Epicenter NYC's form directly.
Any Bed-Stuy neighbors who totally can't navigate the vaccine system themselves can call or text 917-551-5417 to receive help figuring out their eligibility, scheduling an appointment, or getting to an appointment. A Bed-Stuy Strong member will call back, ideally within a week, to answer questions and, if eligible, help you submit an Epicenter NYC intake form. You will receive a confirmation email or phone call from Epicenter once your appointment has been confirmed.
I want to donate.
One hundred percent of donations to Bed-Stuy Strong are used to purchase groceries and basic supplies for vulnerable neighbors. Households then receive what they need from our network of delivery volunteers – ordinary Bed-Stuy residents who are looking to help members of their community.
We are grateful for every contribution. Every dollar you give has a direct impact on the safety and well-being of our Bed-Stuy neighbors. Since our founding in March, Bed-Stuy Strong has purchased and delivered a week’s supply of groceries for over 22,000 neighbors, providing an estimated half a million meals. Many of the neighbors we've served are elderly, immunocompromised, or disabled.
We accept financial donations using any of these platforms:
What is mutual aid?
Many definitions exist, but a simple one is: voluntary, often reciprocal care + support exchanged between people of a community, in a horizontal way, with solidarity and joined hands. We do our work in the shadow of powerful organizing from the Black Panthers’ free clinics to abolitionist networks, and the legacy of neighbors helping neighbors that has existed in Bed-Stuy since time immemorial.
I want to join. What’s next?
We welcome anyone with strong ties to Bed-Stuy (current resident of, working in, family home, etc.) to become a member of the BSS community. Our members come from all walks of life, from service workers to software engineers to artists to full-time parents and caretakers, and represent a mix of newer and longstanding residents of Bed-Stuy.
We ask each other for help when we need it, and provide support when able to, in a spirit of solidarity and resourcefulness aligned with our guiding principles. The aid we offer each other shows up in a variety of ways, whether it’s collecting and redistributing supplies, providing social support, learning from one another about the political moment, or posting photos of our pets to make each other smile.
How does membership work?
We communicate, co-envision, organize, and share asks, offers, community news, volunteer and advocacy opportunities through these channels:
- BSS Members Hub (an online website including community calendar, volunteer opportunities)
- Slack (an online forum for organizing and coordinating)
- Email newsletter and Instagram (events, asks/offers)
- Text message updates (optional)
Ready to be a BSS member?
Sign up here! We’re excited to be in community with you.
I’m interested in partnering.
As unemployment and economic hardship continues to grow due to the COVID-19 crisis, we are continuing to evolve to ensure we can continue supporting our neighbors in need. As part of this evolution, we are exploring potential partnerships with Brooklyn-based organizations and businesses that have expertise in food provision and distribution and access to physical space. If you’re interested in discussing partnership opportunities, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re a member of the media and would like to get in touch, please email us at email@example.com.