News Round Up: Use SNAP Online, Lotus Flame Closed, Get a Food Prescription


A new nationwide pilot program will allow Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients to buy groceries online. Lobbying efforts by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and federal lawmakers persuaded the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) to widen the businesses that accept SNAP. SNAP holders can now purchase food online from FreshDirect and Amazon. However, some supermarket workers are worried it could hurt supermarket businesses. Today, Diaz will meet with Representative Sean Patrick Maloney and hunger advocates at 10:30 at Part of the Solution to discuss New York State’s participation in the program. [Norwood News] [Crain’s New York Business]

Two Bronx eateries are participating in New York City Restaurant Week for the first time. Artie’s Steak & Seafood on City Island and Hudson Garden Grill at the New York Botanical Garden will be offering three-course lunches for $29 and dinners for $42 along with 373 other restaurants from January 23 to February 10. [Bronx News 12]

A fire damaged Indo-Caribbean and Chinese restaurant Lotus Flame, located at 866 Morris Park Avenue. On Friday January 6, a fire started in the restaurant’s basement. It escalated to a third alarm fire, spreading to the roof and damaging the two apartments above the eatery. The FDNY is investigating the cause. According to Bronx Times, Lotus Flame co-owner Savitri McCrea said the restaurant is closed indefinitely. [Bronx Times]

Some doctors are prescribing food instead of medications, reports a CBS New York article. Doctors and patients have cited the high co-pays and side effects of medication as reasons for preferring food prescriptions. Patients also reported feeling better on their doc diets. St. Barnabas Hospital in The Bronx will be prescribing food, and also plans to open a new wellness, culinary, and food garden next year. [CBS New York]


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News Roundup: Longwood Eatery Burns Down, Zaro’s Parkchester Closes

zaros bakery parkchester

Milly’s Corner on Longwood Ave burned down on New Year’s Day. The Hunts Point restaurant has only been open for a year and did not have anyone in it at the time of the fire, which also spread to a neighboring building. [News 12]

Zaro’s Bakery closed the doors of its Parkchester location for good on December 28, 2015 after 56 years. Zaro’s says the landlord refused to renew their lease only weeks before, though the landlord denies this claim. And no one has confirmed whether the rumors of Zaro’s replacement by larger food chain Boston Market is true. Zaro’s has several other locations around New York City. [Welcome2TheBronx]

A lot of families rely on the kindness of the community and others to get through the holidays. Baldor Speciality Foods in Hunts Point provided 500 family meal kits to feed over 2,000 people last month in their section of The Bronx where many live below or barely above the poverty line. [The Produce News]

People weren’t the only ones benefiting from the kindness of the community this past holiday season. The Animal Care Centers of New York City’s Community Dogs Program set up a Fordham food pantry just before Christmas to feed four-legged family members. It’s now open 7 days a week. [News 12]


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News Roundup: Calientito Gets Evicted, Carmelo Anthony Feeds Families

CNhtJ0MUcAAMAo6The #WhatPianoDistrict movement dailed up the conversation on Bronx gentrification from a low murmur to a loud outcry. Now, with reports that Port Morris Latin Caribbean restaurant Calientito has been evicted from their location, some are viewing it as the first casualty of the Bronx’s “rebranding”. Despite what they see as their landlord’s efforts to undermine the business, Calientito’s owners hope to get back into the space with a court order. [DNAinfo]

A recent article published in the WSJ, titled “In The Bronx, Some See The Next Dining Destination”, takes a closer look at the growing culinary scene in the borough. Local businesses and media, including the Bronx Food Blog, shared insight on the matter and how it’s defining The Bronx. [WSJ]

Carmelo Anthony is back in The Bronx, this time to giveaway food. The celebrity NBA player was here over 3 weeks ago at the infamous SoBro gentrification party held by Somerset Partners and the Chetrit Group. Carmelo is scheduled to provide 800 Bronx families with 25lb boxes of food and 10lb boxes of necessities at World of Life International Church today, Nov 16 at 4pm. Carmelo’s presence at the developer party does cast a shadow on this visit, but we can’t argue against feeding needy families during the holidays. [DNAinfo]

Winter may be coming, but Bronx Farmers will be reaping the seeds of their efforts for a bit longer. The South Bronx Farmers Market was awarded a $40,000 USDA grant, and just a week later Bronx urban farmer Karen Washington of Rise and Root farm won $10,000 in a national contest held by NationSwell. [Welcome2TheBronx]

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