More people are hungry in New York City today than before COVID struck.

Food insecurity has jumped by 36%. It’s higher among children. An estimated 1 in 4 children don’t have enough to eat — a 46% increase over pre-pandemic numbers according to Feeding America, one of the leading anti-hunger nonprofits.

One group of activists has been feeding communities on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and the Allerton neighborhood of the central Bronx, installing community refrigerators in schools and delivering bags of groceries for parents to take home when they pick up their children.

What sets the effort apart is the food is all plant-based. These kinds of leafy greens and fresh fruit can be too expensive for food-insecure families to afford or difficult to find in neighborhoods with few supermarkets.

Faced with higher needs and a shrinking social safety net, this group of volunteers is finding it harder to feed everybody.

This is their story.


Writing by Christina Veiga

Artist Bios

  • José A. Alvarado Jr.

    A New York native, José A. Alvarado Jr. is a Puerto Rican documentary photographer, currently based in New York City. His work focuses on documenting class inequality, civic engagement, and contemporary issues in Puerto Rico and New York City. He works primarily in long-form storytelling, using visual imagery as a bridge to help raise awareness. Through his devotion to in-depth projects, he aims to spread awareness, begin discussions between members of the communities affected & their audience, and discover strategies to navigate these challenging elements in our societies.


  • The Hudson Yards Hell’s Kitchen Alliance

    The Hudson Yards Hell’s Kitchen Alliance

  • Photoville


    Founded in 2011 in Brooklyn, NY, Photoville was built on the principles of addressing cultural equity and inclusion, which we are always striving for, by ensuring that the artists we exhibit are diverse in gender, class, and race.

    In pursuit of its mission, Photoville produces an annual, city-wide open air photography festival in New York City, a wide range of free educational community initiatives, and a nationwide program of public art exhibitions.

    By activating public spaces, amplifying visual storytellers, and creating unique and highly innovative exhibition and programming environments, we join the cause of nurturing a new lens of representation.

    Through creative partnerships with festivals, city agencies, and other nonprofit organizations, Photoville offers visual storytellers, educators, and students financial support, mentorship, and promotional & production resources, on a range of exhibition opportunities.

    For more information about Photoville visit,

  • NYC Parks

    NYC Parks

    NYC Parks is the steward of more than 30,000 acres of land — 14 percent of New York City — including more than 5,000 individual properties ranging from Coney Island Beach and Central Park to community gardens  and Greenstreets. We operate more than 800 athletic fields and nearly 1,000 playgrounds, 1,800 basketball courts, 550 tennis courts, 65 public pools, 51 recreational facilities, 15 nature centers, 14 golf courses, and 14 miles of beaches. We care for 1,200 monuments and 23 historic house museums. We look after 600,000 street trees, and two million more in parks. We are New York City’s principal providers of recreational and athletic facilities and programs. We are home to free concerts, world-class sports events, and cultural festivals.

Calories of Power; Comida

 archive : 2023

Featuring: José A. Alvarado Jr.

Presented by: Hudson Yards Hell's Kitchen Alliance & Photoville
  • The Hudson Yards Hell’s Kitchen Alliance
  • Photoville
  • NYC Parks


View Location Details Bella Abzug Park

533 W 34th St,
New York, NY 10001

Number 78 on the official photoville map Click to download this year's map

Location open 24 hours

Words by Christina Veiga

This website was made possible thanks to the generous support and partnership of Photowings