The fresh produce world of NYC, coronavirus hotspot of the U.S.

02:21PM Apr 07, 2020
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The Packer's Northeast editor, Amy Sowder, gives a report in New York City.
( Amy Sowder )

NEW YORK CITY — The throngs of commuters jostling each other on sidewalks and on sardine-can subway trains are a thing of the recent past, and at least some residents hope it will be a returning thing of the near future.

But the peak of COVID-19’s devastation hasn’t been reached yet, with 5,489 deaths by the afternoon of April 7 — accounting for about half of the country’s death toll, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s daily coronavirus update and The New York Times.

Meanwhile, as thousands more virus cases are confirmed in New York each day, residents are eating, buying, distributing and selling fresh fruits and vegetables.

Hunts Point Wholesale Produce Market in the Bronx has to keep running with workers under advisement to take all the recommended precautions plus more.

Supermarkets, independent grocers and bodegas all handle the pandemic in different ways, while consumers keep flocking to the produce aisles to stock up while they cook at home.

The “New York on Pause” order to stay at home has meant groceries, as well as restaurant food, are arriving by delivery to apartment doors, often left at the doorstep to avoid human contact.

While many restaurants are closed — temporarily if owners can weather the storm — some cafes have transformed into small markets to keep selling their food without drawing crowds in close proximity, in the style of the usual sit-down dining service. Some upscale restaurants in Manhattan, such as Eleven Madison Park, have even converted into soup kitchens.

Of New York City’s five boroughs, Brooklyn has the second-highest amount of confirmed coronavirus infections. Queens is the deadliest.

Check out Northeast editor Amy Sowder’s video report in Brooklyn, covering a span of a few days between March 18 and April 6.

New York-related coronavirus news:

New York City offers free meals to all residents

NYC Hunts Point Market takes precautions, keeps feeding 8.5 million

FreshDirect starts five-borough NYC grocery box initiative

Baldor delivers directly to consumers amid COVID-19 crisis

For more coronavirus coverage, check out our landing page on the topic here. To provide input on how the virus is affecting your business, take The Packer's survey.

 

A few days of fresh produce in the COVID-19 hotspot of NYC