Mayor Bill de Blasio announced an ambitious program providing free meals to all New Yorkers in need during the COVID-19 crisis. To this end, the Mayor named Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia to the post of COVID-19 Food Czar. Her job ~ to make sure that no New Yorker goes hungry.
“This is a brand new concept and it reflects the reality of what we’re dealing with today,” de Blasio said. “I’m desperately concerned that a lot of New Yorkers are running out of money, and that’s the money they use to buy food among other crucial necessities.”
The $170 million plan was announced on April 15th. The city plans to spend $50 million amassing an emergency reserve of 18 million nonperishable meals with an expectation of delivering 10 million meals in April and 15 million meals in May.
Qualified Senior Citizens and other qualified vulnerable New Yorkers seeking meal deliveries are being asked to contact 311 or signup online
Various currently closed facilities will be used as distribution centers. We were kindly alerted to the Harlem facility by Connie Lee, President of Marcus Garvey Park Alliance and Director of Public Art Initiative, who watched organizers as they set up at the Pelham Fritz Community Center on Mount Morris Park West in Marcus Garvey Park. The distribution centers are not open to a walk-in public. They are for TLC drivers to pick-up existing orders.
Garcia has connected with the philanthropic community to help fund food programs and bring in approximately 11,000 TLC drivers to deliver the food. Officials will now move forward signing up entire senior buildings in the meal delivery program.
This Program is intended for those who have no member of their household who can go out and get food because they are at increased medical risk or homebound; or neighbors or family members can not bring them food; and do not already receive meal assistance from other providers such as Meals on Wheels or God’s Love We Deliver; or for those who are unable to afford meal delivery or grocery delivery.
Households that do qualify may place an order by calling 311 or signup online every 48 hours. Each order will contain two days of meals (4 meals per person in the household ~ with no more than 8 meals per delivery). The Program will run six-days a week.
“No one should have to question where their next meal is coming from. As we face this crisis head on, we remain committed to feeding all New Yorkers in need,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Providing emergency funding is crucial to keeping our food providers up and running. I thank Speaker Johnson for his advocacy and partnership in securing food resources for all New Yorkers.”
If you don’t meet the eligibility criteria for the NYC Food Delivery Assistance Program, you can still find food options at local food pantries, soup kitchens, senior centers and SNAP. Enrollment sites Here.
“We thank the de Blasio administration for moving quickly on the Council’s calls for help for food providers two weeks ago. This funding, combined with the $25 million the state pledged in response to the Council’s request, will pay for over 19 million meals. We must continue to do everything we can to prevent a hunger crisis in New York City. No one should be food insecure in the richest city in the United States,” said Speaker Corey Johnson.
Mayor De Blasio is also urging New Yorkers to cover their faces, and supermarkets to refuse entry to any customer not wearing a mask or face covering. Just yesterday, we read that the non-profit Street Corner Resources was handing out masks and gloves for free.
On Monday, April 20, 2020 New diagnostic testing sites opened in the hardest-hit areas in New York City including Harlem, Staten Island and the Bronx. These sites will conduct 3,500 tests per week.
NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, East New York. 2094 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn
NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Morrisania. 1225 Gerard Avenue, The Bronx
NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Vanderbilt. 165 Vanderbilt Ave, Staten Island
NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Sydenham. 264 West 118th Street, Harlem
NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens, Jamaica. 82-68 164th Street, Queens
Stay Home ~ Stay Safe