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New York City to serve half a million free Ramadan meals for hungry residents

Bill de Blasio vowed that “no New Yorker will go hungry” [Getty]

Date of publication: 24 April, 2020

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New York City plans expects to feed 10 million people this month, with preparations for 15 million in May amid the city's coronavirus lockdown.

Authorities in New York City are planning to serve 500,000 Halal Ramadan meals during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

The meals come as part of a programme rolled out by the city to feed as many as 2 million residents who are unable to pay for food.

As many as 400,000 of the meals will be distributed via Department of Education buildings, while the remaining 100,000 will be provided through community organisations.

De Blasio says the broader programme, which has already served at least 10 million grab-and-go meals at 435 sites and via taxi to New Yorkers under coronavirus lockdown, is running at a cost of at least $170 million.

“One of Ramadan’s most noble callings is to feed the hungry,” de Blasio told reporters on Thursday. “To remember to be there for those in need. And that is now harder than ever now that people can’t go to their mosques.”

Authorities expect New York's food crisis to worsen as the Covid-19 outbreak continues. De Blasio estimates the east coast city will los at least 475,000 jobs due to measures introduced to curb the spread of the virus.

On Thursday, a testing sample showed that more than one in five New Yorkers may have already had the new coronavirus, suggesting infections are much higher than confirmed cases suggest.

Amid the lockdown, De Blasio says city officials will provide  at least 10 million meals this month,

“No New Yorker will go hungry,” de Blasio vowed. “Your city will provide.”

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