The snow day is over in the Bronx, but what’s left of it is still complicating the lives of borough residents.
Alice Morris, the coordinator of the Parkchester food pantry operated by H.O.M.E.E. Clinic, a nonprofit that helps the mentally ill, said turnout was a lot lower today because of the weather.
“It would be ludicrous to expect it to be the same,” she said.
Most of the food pantry’s guests are seniors from the area, Morris said, and added that the snowy streets made it difficult for them to get to there. Eighteen people showed up today, compared with the usual 50.
We try to put enough food in the bags to feed the recipients for two to three days, she said. Those who couldn’t make it to the pantry missed some tangerines and a recipe on “spinach and tangerine salad,” that Morris had written and included in the package.
At a senior clinic around the corner, the Regional Aid for Interim Needs (RAIN) East Tremont, turnout was down by almost half, said Shirley Martinez, the program director.
“On chicken day, we usually have up to 60 people,” she said.
Today, the number was in the low 30s.
Martinez said the clinic had been told to prepare extra meals for seniors to take home, in case they would not be able to leave their houses the following day. Martinez said the city could do a better job of cleaning the curbs. For seniors, “getting over the piles of snow is the problem,” she said.
Every Tuesday, St. Peter’s Episcopalian Church in Westchester Village opens its soup kitchen to the neighborhood.
Today, the small kitchen in the basement was in a state of emergency because Marge, the cook, whom the Rev. Joade Daver-Cardasis described as a “stalwart,” was not present.
“She got here, but her feet were wet and her pants were soaked, so she turned and left,” Daver-Cardasis said. “She’s usually cooking up a storm.”
Thankfully, a nearby diner donated some food and, with the help of some extra volunteers, the kitchen was up and running by 12:30 p.m.
Daver-Cardasis said attendance was down by at least 25 percent because of the weather, and added that the weather made things difficult for people.
Not everyone agreed.
“We’ve had snow in New York before this,” said a senior who wished to remain anonymous. “Everybody makes a mountain out of a molehill.”
Nevertheless, she thought there was room for improvement. “They’re not shoveling at the corners, so you basically have to swim,” she said, adding, “And those motorists! They never slow down for people. We get drowned!”