New York.- A woman waits at the door of the 234 school in Queens to collect the food that the New York City Council has offered to anyone who needs it this Friday, to try to alleviate the damage caused by the expansion of the coronavirus, which has already it has affected hundreds of thousands of people in the city alone.
Protected from the rain under the spoiler at school, she prefers not to speak and only ensures that she needs food. Like her, a handful of people, some of Arab origin, others European, Latin American and African American, came this Friday from 11:30 in the morning to collect food at this school and a nearby one in the same neighborhood.
A woman tells Efe that she has come for food for her, her husband and mother, while a Latin American couple approaches the neighboring school center 85 to take, for the first time, several bags of food because, as they explain in a hurry, by the economic downturn caused by the expansion of COVID-19 will be at least a month without work.RELATED
They do not want to appear on camera or have their photos taken, like many of the people consulted; neither do they want to identify themselves, nor tell more details.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday that starting Friday, he would extend the food aid program for schoolchildren to everyone in need. The only requirement is to stop by a center and order the food.
Through the website of the city council you can access the list of open centers throughout the city.
One of the big questions that the city asked itself when closing its educational system to contain the expansion of the coronavirus was the number of poor and poor families who enjoyed a free or low-cost food program offered to the students.
This is why, since the students were left without classes on March 16, a total of 435 schools in the five major districts of New York – Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island – began offering bags of food to children’s families.
According to statistics from the Department of Education collected by several local newspapers, the day that the most meals were distributed was March 19, when 199,435 lunches were collected.
A figure, however, very far from the 600,000 daily meals that schools regularly offer to poor children or families with low incomes.
Cheryl, an African-American woman who has been coming to the 234 center for two weeks to collect food for her husband and two children, tells Efe that since the schools closed, her children can no longer eat breakfast and eat in the school’s dining room. school.
“I am enjoying this time at home with my family, but financially it is very hard because now the children are at home all day and I am disabled, so a family of four is living on my income alone,” says Cheryl before to conclude that the enclosure by the coronavirus “has become a problem”.
With a colorful cloth mask, as the authorities recommend since this Friday, she and her daughter have come to take food to face part of the day.
He explains that all his income goes towards household expenses and “of course, it becomes difficult, because normally at this time of year the children are at school and I only have to worry about dinner and lunch on the weekend” .
“But now it’s 25 hours a day, breakfast, lunch and dinner, yes. So I come here,” he adds.
However, not everyone is satisfied with this system, and many people in charge of delivering the bags of food have expressed their fear of being infected by working face-to-face with people who come for food.
Each center has been finding its way to deal with this situation. In school 234, the bags with food are left in boxes at the entrance of the center and those who go collect them personally.
Three police officers watch over the school and those in charge of preparing food have no contact with the public.
At school 85, on the other hand, you have to knock on the door first and the woman who attends, who prefers not to identify herself, comes out to greet the neighbors dressed in a mask and plastic covering her entire face.
“My husband did it to me,” she says, referring to the contraption with which she has equipped herself to avoid, she says, being infected.
She says that today she has given food to about twenty adults and insists that they do everything possible to serve everyone.