The dual public health and economic crises only  exacerbated the suffering of 1.4 million or so New York City residents.

Photo credit: Ariama C. Long

This post was originally published on New York Amsterdam News

By Ariama C. Long

The Plaza square is sandwiched between a renovated milk bottling plant, an Applebees, and the Billie Holiday Theatre in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. Layered deck-like stairs lead up from the street to the tables and stages that lookout at famed Marcy Avenue and Fulton Street. On a sunny Wednesday in September, there was a long line of people, some Brooklynites, some just hungry New Yorkers. All waiting for hours, looking depressingly out of place in the Bedstuy Restoration Plaza square.

Many were elderly men and women, some with soft or strong accents, a reminder that they have called another country home. June Feddoes, 55, a nursing home worker who lives in the neighborhood was one of them. She was wearing a scarf on her head, orange scrubs, a face mask and a large Patagonia backpack.

“Places like this is very important for people like me, you know, single woman, single mother. It does always make a difference. I’ve been going to food pantry ever since I came to this country and didn’t have a green card,” said Feddoes, who moved to New York from Saint Vincent in the Caribbean when she was 15 years old.

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