Desus & Mero Surprise Bronx Bodega Owner With Financial Support To Cover 2021 Rent

The Kid Mero

The Bodega Boys partner with Pepsi for the “The Bodega Giveback” campaign.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected almost every aspect of life in America over the last ten months. Nearly 300,000 people lost their lives and many small business owners are struggling financially. While local stores around the country attempted to stay open during this critical time, coronavirus took its toll on shop owners.

Pepsi teamed with Desus Nice and The Kid Mero of Showtime’s Desus & Mero show and the Bodega Boys podcast for a holiday campaign to give back to New York City bodegas for their essential service to the citizens of the five boroughs. Part of “The Bodega Giveback” includes Pepsi giving away cash to bodega owners and consumers across the city.

As a way to encourage New Yorkers to shop at their local corner store this holiday season, the soft drink corporation will gift select NYC customers who shop at local bodegas with $100 pre-paid credit cards. The special giveback program will run through December 20, 2020.

“Pepsi has so many longstanding bodega partners in New York City – they are not only pillars of the community, but they have gone above and beyond to take care of their loyal customers during the hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Umi Patel, CMO of North Division, PepsiCo Beverages North America.

Patel continued, “They have worked around the clock to stay open, filling shelves to ensure their customers, friends, and family have the essentials they need to stay home and stay safe. They have even shifted their businesses to meet the needs of the community, offering new delivery options, adding crucial items like masks and gloves and more, all while dealing with their own personal challenges of the pandemic. We are proud to do our part in giving back to these unsung heroes.”

In addition, Desus and Mero traveled to the JJN Corp Deli and Grocery in their hometown of the Bronx to surprise its owner, Juan Valerio, with a check to help cover a full year of rent through 2021. Valerio was forced to temporarily close down his bodega in April around the time he lost his father to COVID-19.

“Bodegas are the lifeblood of the neighborhood and are central to the culture of New York. We’re children of immigrants – Juan’s story is our story – so we’re excited to work with Pepsi to be able to pay it forward and help him like he has done for so many,” stated Desus Nice and The Kid Mero in a press release.