With New York City functionally in lockdown due to the rapid spread of COVID-19, it’s harder than ever for people to find nourishing, affordable food. Supermarket and bodega shelves are bare, and what food is available can often be unaffordable for many hospitality workers displaced by the shutdown of the city’s various restaurants, bars, and cafes. This pandemic is hitting Black Trans and Gender Non-Conforming (TGNC) folk especially hard; more than 20% of Black TGNC people are unemployed, and 42% live below the poverty line.
During the COVID-19 crisis, grassroots mutual aid organization The Okra Project is stepping up to assist Black TGNC folks hit by the crisis, delivering food to Black Trans folk around New York City. “In anticipation of increased food, supply, and medication shortages due to coronavirus, we are attempting to increase our mutual aid to Black Trans folk in need,” the Okra Collective writes in a statement. “Our community is especially susceptible to inequity of resources. Therefore, The Okra Project Team is working hard to assemble more bags of food and supplies for Black Trans folk in NYC.” Black TGNC folk wishing to receive food from The Okra Project should follow TOP on Twitter or fill out the project’s COVID-19 aid form. Black TGNC people in Philly and New Jersey should also fill out the form; the project is working on extending its resources. Non-TGNC folk wishing to assist The Okra Project can donate to its PayPal here.