By Jessica Easthope
God is everywhere – and if you’re inside Little Cupcake Bakeshop in lower Manhattan, so is Pope Francis. The Holy Father’s presence is felt inside the Prince Street corner bakery – but it’s also outside on a mural painted by street artist and environmentalist, Delphinoto.
He’s merging his two passions to shed light on the importance of organic food and making it accessible for all, even in a city where 2.5 million people are food insecure.
“The pope talks a lot about food and farmers and the importance of healthy food, we can feed the hungry and we can help preserve the climate with the right food choices,” Delphinoto said.
Every morning Delphinoto drags out a community fridge – it’s stocked with fresh organic food. He’s raising money to keep it that way by selling prints of his artwork and hoping customers at the bakery donate.
“To connect faith to it and bring in food and then involve a corner shop where there’s all this activity,” he said.
In 10 days since the project started, more than $1,000 has been raised to keep the fridge full. Delphinoto says people have been willing to open their hearts – and open their minds.
“We’re in the heart of consumerist culture, status and money but the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Delphinoto of his mural.
Spreading the wealth when it comes to access to organic food is the goal and while Delphinoto is focused on the community around him, he’s thinking bigger, channeling his muse, Pope Francis and his 2015 encyclical, “Laudato Si.”
“The way the pope connects the dots between the science and faith, it’s what’s been the missing piece in the whole environmental saga,” he said.
The Prince Street community fridge is just getting started but like keeping the earth healthy – it’s going to take everyone to make it work.