New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced a new $170 million program designed to get meals to every resident in the city. The new program comes as the coronavirus outbreak has kept the majority of New Yorkers quarantined for weeks. At this time, there is no timeline for when it will be safe for residents to resume their normal routines.
De Blasio revealed the plans in a Wednesday press briefing, vowing that "no New Yorker will go hungry," after it was estimated that 500,000 residents lost their jobs due to the pandemic. "More and more people are experiencing that kind of insecurity," de Blasio stated, noting that more than 1 million residents were already "food insecure" before the global crisis. The new program is aiming to give out as many as 10 million free meals in May, with plans to up that number to as many as 15 million in June. De Blasio also stated that the city plans to "back up" local grocery stores who made the adjustments necessary to comply with the city's new guidelines requiring all customers to be wearing face coverings. "Every store has the right to put up that guidance and make it a requirement for entry into the store," he said. "Any customer who refuses should not be allowed in."
We’re at City Hall with the latest updates on New York City’s response to COVID-19. https://t.co/6CKuA9XstD— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) April 15, 2020
Many residents have since commented on the news, with many tweeting to de Blasio with their support. "Good on you @NYCMayor for your $170M anti-hunger initiative in the midst of a budget crisis," one person wrote." It is the right thing to do and exemplifies the bold leadership I hoped for when I supported your election and re-election! Notwithstanding all my criticism of your transpo policies."
Someone else suggested, "If you are going to enforce mask wearing in food stores, then all stores should have masks available to give out to customers when they walk in. This will avoid any arguments or stress."
New York City has certainly faced the biggest challenges of any U.S. city, during the coronavirus pandemic. It was recently reported by The Guardian that Covid-19 deaths in the city now exceed 10,000 people. This is after 3,778 deaths that are presumed to have been due to the sickness were added. These deaths were not tested for coronavirus, but the circumstances have given health experts cause to believe it was the cause.