Pepsi pays for full year of rent for Bronx deli

Bodegas are being rewarded for the essential service they provide during the pandemic

With the help of two well-known Bronx natives, comedians Desus Nice and The Kid Mero, Pepsi is giving back to New York City bodegas this holiday season.

Desus and Mero, who gained a strong following with their “Bodega Boys” podcast and are now co-hosts of Showtime’s Desus & Mero, have partnered with Pepsi to support neighborhood shops with cash gifts.

Daniel Baker “Desus Nice” and Joel Martinez “The Kid Mero” attend the FYC red carpet event of Showtime late night series “Desus & Mero” held at the Paramount Sherry Lansing Theater on April 24, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/Getty Images)

The owner of JJN Deli and Grocery in Morrisania was recently surprised with a check that will cover a full year’s rent. JJN Deli has served residents in the area for more than 30 years.

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The comedic duo and Pepsi are giving back to bodegas for their commitment to providing essential services across the five boroughs during the pandemic.

Many New York bodegas are in danger of closing due to the pandemic keeping people home and tourists away, and Pepsi is supporting those establishments across the city’s five boroughs with a new digital and social giveback campaign.

Mero reflected on how important bodegas have been in his own experience while growing up in the area. He empathized with Juan, the owner of JJN Deli, whose sales, he surmised, had probably taken a hit due to the cornonavirus.

Mero went on to say that Juan’s father had recently died and for him to receive such a generous and unexpected gift from Pepsi during such a stressful time was something Juan would probably never forget.

“Being a part of something like that is amazing,” the comedian said referring to his and Desus’s collaboration with the soda company.

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According to Pepsi plans on making similar cash gifts to at least 20 other bodegas in all boroughs and is calling on local shoppers to nominate their own community bodega.

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Pepsi is urging New York residents to post to social media using the hashtag, #PepsiBodega so that local shops can be recognized.

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