Chris Eichler for NPR
Donated pizzas are handed out in Zuccotti Park for the Occupy Wall Street protesters.
Donated pizzas are handed out in Zuccotti Park for the Occupy Wall Street protesters. Chris Eichler for NPR
Americans waste a lot food, as we reported last week, but that's been a boon for the protesters camping in a Wall Street park as part of Occupy Wall Street. When we happened by Zuccotti Park on Saturday to investigate the state of things, we saw dozens of crates of apples donated from local farms, and sympathizers rolling up to the makeshift kitchen to unload the unused contents of their refrigerators.
The New York Times Dining section also caught a whiff of the Zuccotti "kitchen," reporting today that the volunteers who've gravitated toward it have developed a "box-to-table communal scavenging" approach to feeding each other. Aside from donations, occupiers also find a lot of edible sustenance by diving in local Dumpsters.
Much of the food is prepared on site on bunches of boxes and tables in the middle of the park. And a volunteer told The Salt people are awake serving food nearly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There's no stove or oven, so the food that's consumed there is either raw or prepared elsewhere. Some local restaurants have apparently opened up their kitchens for the protesters to use, and volunteers are looking to find a local space to do larger scale catering for their fellow occupiers.
According to the Times, protesters have been requesting food donations via Twitter and other websites. Far-flung supporters can order pizzas from nearby Liberatos Pizza, which delivers discounted pies to the park. A favorite from the pizzeria is the $15 OccuPie, which features a perimeter and line of pepperoni across the middle, Ghostbusters-style.
Not everyone is pleased with Occupy Wall Street's culinary effect on Lower Manhattan. Food cart vendors told the Wall Street Journal their businesses had lost as much as 40 percent in sales because regular Wall Street clientele were avoiding the park. "The workers used to have lunch down there," one vendor said. "What can I do?"