FreshDirect in the South Bronx


On March 22, 2014, activists sit in front of a gate to the Harlem River Yard, proposed site for a new FreshDirect facility that would bring 1,000 more diesel trucks per day to over-saturated streets in the Mott Haven neighborhood of the South Bronx.

In support of longstanding environmental justice efforts by community organizations in the South Bronx led by South Bronx Unite, this work is a project of BCJN’s Green Vision and Energy Solutions Working Groups


FreshDirect, the online grocery delivery company whose products many in the South Bronx cannot afford, is seeking to build a new facility in the Harlem River Yards. Operation of the facility would involve more than 1,000 truck trips each day on already diesel-saturated streets. The facility is planned for a neighborhood called “Asthma Alley.” One in four children in the South Bronx suffer from asthma, up from one in five a few years ago.

For three years, the community has stood against the bogus claims of the company, which is dangling the offer of (non-living-wage) jobs. South Bronx Unite and a coalition of organizations, with support from BCJN and a growing number of climate and environmental justice organizations around New York City, are standing up for the health of the people of the South Bronx, and the community’s right to determine its own future. Join with Bronx Climate Justice North in supporting the courageous efforts of South Bronx Unite to defeat the FreshDirect move.

Please read Bronx United Against FreshDirect, a BCJN Point of View piece published by The Riverdale Press on November 27, 2014.


Join South Bronx Unite in stopping a FreshDirect move to the South Bronx:

1) Boycott: Please boycott FreshDirect, and urge friends and neighbors to do so.

2) Sign the Petition: Please sign the petition informing Mayor de Blasio and FreshDirect that you are boycotting the company; share the petition to your networks.

3) Stay Updated: Please subscribe to, read, and share SBU’s newsletters about FreshDirect. You can find the latest one, HERE. It contains important requests for action. Subscribe HERE.

4) Contact Mayor de Blasio: Please call the Mayor and urge him to stop the FreshDirect move to the South Bronx. Contact the Mayor via Jon Paul Lupo at 212-788-2971 and


The following provide essential detail about this critical environmental justice struggle:

Watch the video — South Bronx Unite Demands Health AND Jobs

Mott Haven Herald, Nine protesters arrested at Harlem River Yard, 3/22/14

Thinkprogress, ‘Environmental Racism’ and the fight for green space in the South Bronx, 10/9/14

The Guardian, ‘Environmental Rascism’: Bronx activists decry FreshDirect’s impact on air quality, 3/9/15

Grist, The South Bronx isn’t falling for FreshDirect’s dirty trucks, 3/10/15

Daily Kos, by BCJN member Marcia Yerman, The South Bronx fights air pollution in “Asthma Alley,” 4/8/15.

Al Jazeera America, “FreshDirect Bronx Dilemma: Health or Jobs?” 4/14/15

South Bronx Unite Flash Mob Extracts Promise from de Blasio to Meet, 5/17/15


Mychal Johnson, founding member of BCJN ally South Bronx Unite (SBU), and SBU leader Rev. Ruben Austria, were among nine arrested at the Harlem River Yard on March 22, 2014. The arrests followed a march joined by 100 community members whose vision for the South Bronx — the Mott Haven-Port Morris Waterfront Plan — represents a stark contrast to the further industrialization of the area that would arise from the construction of the FreshDirect facility. Photo: Madison Hartman


Activists protest a secret, early-morning ground-breaking ceremony for the FreshDirect facility in the Harlem River Yards in the South Bronx, on December 22, 2014, just three days before Christmas. Even in the frigid air, the diesel fumes from continually passing trucks made breathing difficult.

Protest of secret ground-breaking ceremony for FreshDirect, Harlem River Yards, South Bronx, December 22, 2014.

Protest of secret ground-breaking ceremony for FreshDirect, Harlem River Yards, South Bronx, December 22, 2014.

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