On September 11, 2020, I had to walk from my home on Mountain Avenue, up Hempstead Street, to notarize a document for a client.
I was wearing a mask and it was a short walk.
As I reached the bottom of Hope Street, I saw a long line of cars stretching from the OIC building all the way up Hempstead Street. I realized that a food drive was taking place for those in need.
Hearing about food scarcity is one thing, but to see such a long line of cars was another entirely.
The line of cars was full of diverse people, every age and race. Young Latinos and African Americans to older white couples, including one older white man I saw in a van wearing a Vietnam veterans hat.
As I walked up Hempstead, I saw that the line extended beyond Broad Street. There were hundreds of cars.
As I approached the intersection of Manwarring Street a car drove up Hempstead Street alongside the line of cars waiting for the food bank. A woman was driving that car and had just gone through the line. She was yelling out her car window to those in the line saying: “No more milk or meat, only vegetables.” Presumably, she was saying this so some in the line wouldn’t waste their time.
As she yelled this I passed one car with a young white woman sitting in the drivers seat. A baby was in a car seat next to her.
As she heard there was no milk or meat, I saw her break down in tears and put her head on her steering wheel.
It was a sight I will never forget and forever brought home to me the scale of the economic devastation that the pandemic has created in our community.
Submitted by Daryl Finzio on Oct 7, 2020.