Why She’s a Food Hero: Ariadna Phillips stepped in to help her community at a time when other food relief programs couldn’t. She organized the South Bronx Mutual Aid network in April 2020, after noticing many of her students seeming hungry during virtual learning. At first, Phillips organized food deliveries to her students and their families, and used social media to encourage the rest of the community to donate what they can. Today, the group focuses on maintaining dignity when providing food relief services, by offering direct delivery and keeping community fridges stocked. South Bronx Mutual Aid also provides support and direct assistance to families in need in the Bronx+Uptown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in other areas, including referral to housing, legal, and healthcare support.
Background: Phillips, a longtime educator in the South Bronx, grew up in a Mexican-American household and attended Princeton University. She has a robust background in education, earning multiple degrees and certificates in childhood education, bilingual education, and computer science education. Additionally, she has worked in multiple colleges and schools and with students of all ages, from early childhood to college-aged. Phillips experienced a time of food insecurity in her own life, giving her a sensitivity to her students going through similarly difficult times.
Work: Phillips currently works as a high school dual language teacher in the Bronx, designing and implementing Spanish language computer science curricula. She is also a middle school soccer coach.
Location: The South Bronx
Resources and References:
- How Mutual Aid Groups Are Trying to Provide a COVID Safety Net (New York Times)
- Educator Starts South Bronx Aid Group (Mott Haven Herald)
- Mutual Aid Groups Supported Communities When the Government Wouldn’t (Harper’s Bazaar)
- Ariadna Phillips – LinkedIn
- Open BXRx Tuesday (South Bronx Mutual Aid)
- Community Anchor Fridge Comes to City Island (BronxNet)