3rd Annual Bakers Against Violence in Kingsbridge

3rd Annual Bakers Against Violence in Kingsbridge
by David Greene

Several Kingsbridge residents are stepping outside the box to combat the onslaught of needless violence on the streets of our borough– by hosting a bake sale.

Iris Melendez, 22, Cassandra Wallace, 28, and Debra Williams, all Kingsbridge residents, spent hours preparing their tasty treats and were observed manning their makeshift bakery on July 7, along Marion Avenue and East 196 Street.

Kingsbridge residents (l-r): Debra Williams, Iris Melendez and Cassandra Wallace hosting their unusual “Bakers Against Violence” bake sale.–Photo by David Greene

The two women spent the better part of their Saturday with Williams’ assistance, Wallace was busy serving up two types of chicken and two types of rice. Melendez was wooing the locals with her homemade confetti cupcakes and fudge brownies.

Melendez, a cosmetologist and model, was up the night before baking before holding her 1-day sale, for the third consecutive year, she says, “I do this every year to basically bring the community together.”

Melendez adds, she’d like to “Expand and branch out and work with other community based organizations, so we can actually make enough funds to support this” to make a difference.

“There’s a lot of violence around here,” Wallace explains, “and I’m pretty sure there’s some gang affiliation. There’s been a lot of shooting’s around here lately.”

The proud mother of a 10 year-old boy, Wallace confesses, “He’s home all the time now, but I fear in the future he’s going to want to go outside. But because there’s so much going on, the shootings, the stabbings and there all young kids and they hadn’t even started living their lives yet.”

Despite years of historically low crime in the Big Apple, the Bronx has seen a recent influx in murder with 51 killings reported in the first six months of 2018, compared with 31 for the same time period last year. The NYPD’s latest statistics show that 121 people were shot in 103 shooting incidents in the borough.

The 52nd Precinct, which covers Norwood, Bedford Park and Kingsbridge have so far reported 3 homicides in 2018, compared with 2 for the same time period in 2017. The latest crime figures also show felony assaults are up to 273 compared with 258 last year. The 52nd Precinct also reports 12 people have been wounded in 11 separate shooting incidents so far this year.

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