Saturday, May 23, 2020
Department of the Aging is starving the aging
Marnee May, 75, was told by the city she’d be getting shipments of weekly meals in late March. She lives in Lower Manhattan and was getting the “grab-and-go” meals from the senior center in her building.
Toward the end of last month, as the coronavirus tore through the city, the center was shuttered.
Weeks have since gone by and her meals haven’t arrived.
“Why weren’t we set up for this? That’s what I don’t understand,” May said during a phone interview Thursday afternoon. “What happened to the food? And where is that food? Where is it?”
The coronavirus pandemic that has seized New York City has created an almost impossible situation for its older residents. With that population particularly vulnerable to the disease and much of the city on lockdown, their families and friends have been officially warned against visiting. That leaves precious few options for elderly New Yorkers to get meals.
New York City’s massive effort to deliver food directly to the homes of the elderly, spearheaded by the Department for the Aging, has left many behind, according to interviews with seniors, advocates and government officials. Throughout the city, many of its most vulnerable residents are trapped at home, wondering when their next meal will come.
“I could say funeral homes weren’t prepared for this, but Jesus, the city should have been prepared to give people meals,” May told POLITICO.