Aid Distribution for LES & Chinatown: Long Delays
We’re on the scene at distribution points for food and water across the Lower East Side and Chinatown this afternoon, and at two of the three sites we visited, the promised supplies have yet to show up for a planned 3 p.m. start time. Along Grand Street in front of the Seward Park Co-op, a long line had already formed in advance, and one of two planned supply trucks eventually arrived. However, at Confucious Plaza, several hundred people gathered and waited more than an hour before beginnning to drift away, empty-handed, when no help arrived. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Council Member Margaret Chin spoke to residents and reporters about the aid effort, which includes a million meals and bottled water from FEMA, as well as additional help from many community organizations in both neighborhoods, but the cause of the holdup was unclear. The scene was similar, but with bigger crowds, at the Smith Houses at Cherry and Monroe streets, where a crowd stretched for several blocks, almost to the river. At 4:30 p.m., most of the residents remained in line, hopeful.
More photos after the jump.