A major infestation of rats at a low-income New York City Housing Authority apartment complex in the Bronx late last month triggered thorough remediation efforts by the city. But it also compelled residents to discard not only their food but their dishes and pots and pans.
One of the residents, Veronica Martinez, told Channel 11 that she was “so traumatized” by the giant rats that she could not sleep at night.
“We’re living in horrible conditions,” she said. “I had to get rid of everything – dishes, pots and pans – because of this.”
City Comptroller Scott Stringer heard about it and contacted the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, the country’s largest distributor of kosher food, which quickly filled boxes with fruit, vegetables, rice, beans, cereal, tuna, shelf staple milk, spices, cutlery and more. There are 160 residents living in 66 apartments at the Claremont Consolidated Houses and on Oct. 29 each apartment received 35 boxes of food, as well as cooking and eating supplies.
But because of the Thanksgiving holiday this week and the dire straits of the residents, Met Council swung into action again and one day before the holiday delivered to them 75 boxes filled with Thanksgiving supplies. Joined by City Council member Venessa Gibson, they handed out not only turkeys but the ingredients for an apple pie.
Stringer told The Jewish Week: “New Yorkers should never have to fear that the food they eat will make their families sick, especially during the holidays. Thank you to Met Council for stepping up to help out during such challenging times. With their tireless support, we’ve been able to feed hundreds of Claremont families and deliver some peace of mind this Thanksgiving. This is what New York is all about — standing together to help make a difference.”