Buy local. Give hope.

Buy local. Give hope.

Is there a small business that you are praying makes it through the shut down? For our staff at Brilla Charter Schools in the South Bronx, one is a neighborhood cafe filled with nourishing food and warm hearts called Mottley Kitchen.

Mottley Kitchen is no ordinary cafe.

When Tess Gates Lane, Seton Director of Talent & Recruitment for the Brilla Schools Network, learned that Mottley Kitchen had started putting together zero-contact grocery boxes with delicious meal recipes and fresh ingredients, she and her husband, John Lane, recognized that this wasn’t just a creative opportunity to support a local business affected by the lockdown—it was also a chance to serve the Mott Haven community in a tangible way.

That’s why they and their colleagues at Seton and Brilla rolled up their sleeves to help, raising the money to purchase and donate more than 200 grocery boxes worth $150 each (and totaling more than $30,000) for Brilla’s most vulnerable families. Mottley Kitchen has also chipped in to add extra treats to Brilla boxes and are donating a box to a family for every 10 we purchase.


“‘They [the families] are speechless,’” Reyes Claudio, Brilla’s senior director of operations, said in an article in the Bronx Times. “‘They’re just overjoyed.’”

Brilla schools are situated in Mott Haven in the South Bronx, one of the most underserved Congressional Districts in the country and also a food desert. Even in the best of times, access to healthy food is incredibly limited. During the Coronavirus pandemic, it’s even harder.

Many of the children we serve have lost a grandparent, aunt or uncle in the last several weeks, and way too many are facing hunger. The devastation is broad. In the Bronx, as with other hard hit areas, access to food is a challenge—whether financially or logistically. Our families are having to wait five or more hours at the grocery stores in their community or food banks. That’s why this solution isn’t just great for the local economy—it also takes a meaningful burden off of families who are really struggling right now.

Since today, May 5, is #GivingTuesdayNow, we’re putting forth our biggest ask yet:

Let’s give 50 more boxes to our families in the Bronx who need them!


Each box provides a family of four with a week’s worth of food.

A lot of people are worried about the economy right now, and this example of #LivingHope is a reminder that there are things we can do to support the businesses we love while also caring for those in need.

Our friends and colleagues at Brilla have done so much good for their neighbors already. How will you take action on this #GivingTuesdayNow and turn a local craving into a story of #LivingHope?