Today, in advance of a vote at the Industrial Development Agency on FreshDirect’s proposed relocation to the Harlem River Yards in the Bronx, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation and FreshDirect have reached an agreement on best practices to address a number of the concerns that have been raised since FreshDirect’s proposed relocation was made public.
The “memorandum of understanding” includes agreements between the three parties on local hiring, vendor referrals, expanding FreshDirect’s services to new Bronx neighborhoods, accepting EBT benefits, and decreasing the company’s reliance on fossil fuels through the purchase of alternative fuel vehicles.
“I am very excited that FreshDirect will make the Bronx its new home, and that we have come to an agreement with the company that will ensure their commitment to the Bronx for decades to come. FreshDirect’s decision to stay in New York City, right here in the Bronx, is a win-win for everyone. FreshDirect is a real home-grown success that will now continue to grow, creating almost a thousand new jobs in our borough, which is not only a victory for the Bronx but also the entire City,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
“We welcome FreshDirect to the Bronx and know that our collaboration will result in a rich environment for them, our residents and the other Bronx businesses that are anxious to provide their growing customer base with additional products made in our Borough,” said Marlene Cintron, president, Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation.
“We’re thrilled by the opportunity to be a part of the Bronx community. We have historically created a large amount of new jobs and look forward to creating many more hand-in-hand with our new neighbors. Also, we take seriously our shared responsibility to the environment,” said Jason Ackerman, CEO of FreshDirect.
In addition to the MOU, Borough President Diaz’s office has also created a new Facebook group, “Bronxites for FreshDirect,” designed to illustrate to the company just how many Bronx residents are willing to not only use their service, but have the technical capabilities to do so.
“A critique of FreshDirect has been the company’s unwillingness to deliver to most areas of the Bronx. Through this Facebook page, we are prepared to show FreshDirect that Bronx residents are ready to use their service, if it is offered to them,” said Borough President Diaz.