“We’re Not Going To Starve”: Mayor Helps and Calms Brooklyn Pantry Amid a Pandemic

Sign up for our PoliticsNY newsletter to get the latest coverage and stay informed of the 2021 elections in your district and across NYC

Mayor Bill de Blasio visited a pantry in Brooklyn to pledge staff and volunteers that the city would do everything in its power to help them four days after announcing a $ 25 million emergency food funding initiative.

A third of the city’s pantries and soup kitchens had to close their doors because food prices had risen or because of a shortage of staff, because they had gotten sick, or because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, they could no longer go to work.

“Each of you is a hero … without you, some families will starve and your families will have enough to eat,” said de Blasio to a socially distant crowd of masked workers. “History has told us that this is the biggest health crisis in a century, it’s the biggest economic crisis in 80 years.”

The line for food in the campaign against hunger was down the block in Brownsville Brooklyn on Tuesday. Here Mayor Bill de Blasio visited the website. (Photo by Todd Maisel)

The mayor again described the novel coronavirus pandemic as a battle in which all New Yorkers must do their part to stop it from spreading.

“Whatever you need to feed people, you will get it … we will keep fighting,” added de Blasio. “It won’t be days, it won’t be weeks. It will be months before it is all over, but we will not starve anyone. “

This week alone, the campaign against hunger will feed more than 6,400 families, said founder and chief executive Melony Samuels, who said the nonprofit is developing a disaster response to the pandemic.

The line for food in the campaign against hunger was down the block in Brownsville Brooklyn on Tuesday. Mayor Bill de Blasio visited the website. (Photo by Todd Maisel)

As workers stacked boxes of produce, bread, and juice from the Brownsville pantry, a line of people formed and expanded the block. Typically around 200 to 300 people stop by the pantry every day to collect basic groceries, but since the novel coronavirus pandemic resulted in thousands losing their jobs, that number has nearly doubled, Samuels said.

A queuing Brooklyn woman, Deborah Calloway, is now living at the shelter after she lost her job at a beauty salon shortly after social distancing was ordered in town. Tuesday was her third visit to the pantry, and she was grateful that there was enough food to give to the families who waited that day.

The line for food in the campaign against hunger was down the block in Brownsville Brooklyn on Tuesday. Mayor Bill de Blasio visited the website. (Photo by Todd Maisel)

She wasn’t just collecting food for herself – a common occurrence in pantries.

“I know two families who must be here in East New York, but that’s too far for them to get,” Calloway said.

She said her neighbors, low income and sick, had called 311 to see where the nearest pantry was in her neighborhood. They were directed to you, but the process of getting food was arduous.

“It is not so. They had to be online, get a ticket, get there early and come back, ”added Calloway. “So I’m here to help. Whatever I can get is for me and for her. ”

The line for food in the campaign against hunger was down the block in Brownsville Brooklyn on Tuesday. Mayor Bill de Blasio visited the website. (Photo by Todd Maisel)

Comments are closed.