Fridges brimming with vegan products will now be available inside of three 24-hour bodegas in New York City neighborhoods where plant-based foods are difficult to find. A company by the name of Plantega is launching these fridges in Bushwick, Cypress Hills, and in a neighborhood in The Bronx. These vegan fridges will run for a 12-week program and if successful, will be expanded to other communities in the Greater NYC area.

The fridges are filled with over 30 vegan products, including offerings from brands like Miyoko’s Creamery, Beyond Meat, JUST, Inc., Good Catch, and more. At the Bushwick and Bronx bodegas, you will be able to order prepared items made with the products inside the Plantega’s fridges like a breakfast sandwich made with Beyond Meat and JUST Egg. Plantega's website notes why the company chose bodegas for its fridges to launch in, saying, "Bodegas are the bloodlines of New York City. They’re our community spaces, grocery stores, and late-night spots. We wanna be sure Plantega shows up in places where plant-based food isn’t always accessible (or affordable) to folks who deserve better."

These Plantega vegan fridges were created by a collective of mission-driven food advocates in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and social-justice movements. The goal of this endeavor is to make plant-based foods accessible to underserved communities. Established by EFFECT Partners, as well as NYC native and vegan influencer Erick Castro, author and podcaster at Eat For The Planet Nil Zacharias, eco-hip hop pioneer D.J. Cavem, and Parfait Studio, a vegan graphic design shop.

“Bringing these plant-based products to my hometown and surrounding neighborhoods is a tremendous opportunity at just the right time. These bodegas are our lifeline, the gateway to food for so many, from nurses on the run to late-night needs. We are here to learn, but also to show how delicious, healthy, and affordable eating plant-based really is," explained Erick Castro.

Plantega is seeking to close the gap in accessibility to plant-based products, particularly in communities of color. The Plantega fridges also contain QR codes and SMS texting to assist customers in finding plant-based recipes and to help customers learn the benefits of a diet free from animal products.

“Good food is the medicine we all need right now,” Andrew Arrieta, a Plantega director from EFFECT Partners said. “Throughout the course of this summer, our team of food fighters challenged ourselves to help find better, healthier solutions that could benefit the most people. Like so many of our friends in the plant-based movement, we’ve been staring at this same data about taste and access for too long-- we finally decided it was time to get some friends together and go do something about it.”

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