The pandemic has disproportionately impacted the borough, which already had its share of challenges, CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas reported Thursday.READ MORE: Man Struck, Seriously Injured In Huntington Station Hit-And-Run
“We’re not okay. No one is ready. No one is okay. Everyone is struggling,” said Jocelyne Rojas of Bronxworks Food Pantry.
The 26-year-old was furloughed from her once-full-time retail job. She’s back to work, but only 15 hours a week.
“What I make is not enough for me to feed myself, try to feed my mother, maintain an apartment. You still have your phone bill,” Rojas said.
She’s not alone.
The city’s unemployment rate is at around 14%, but in the Bronx it’s nearly 19%, the highest of any borough.
- Tri-State Coronavirus Travel Advisory Quarantine List
- Resources, Hotlines, Unemployment & Covering Bills
- Remote Learning Tools For Parents Teaching At Home
- CBS2’s Dr. Max Answers Your Health Questions
- What To Do If Someone Isn’t Social Distancing Or Wearing A Mask?
- Expert: Parents Be Mindful Of Children’s Stress After Months Of Isolation
- Chopper 2 Over Empty NYC Streets, Landmarks
- Complete Coronavirus Coverage
Bronxworks tries to fill the gap through various programs. It tripled the number of pantry locations to 12 and extended hours and days of service, including at the Morris Senior Center.
“For the days that we’re open for the general population, we’ve seen 80% of the people that are coming in now for this particular pantry are all new to us,” said Eileen Torres, Bronxworks’ executive director.
City and state assistance that includes eviction and utility moratoriums have been helpful, but many fear what will happen when that’s lifted.READ MORE: NYPD: 2 Gunmen Wanted After 10 Shot In Front Of Queens Business; 'A Brazen, Coordinated Attack'
“Shortly after New York City became the epicenter of the pandemic, the Bronx really becomes the epicenter of the epicenter,” Torres said.
COVID-19 has been particularly deadly in the borough, with its dense population, large number of essential workers and high instances of pre-existing conditions.
“I’ve lost about eight of my friends,” resident Lezrette Hutchinson said.
Like many seniors, Hutchinson mourns alone, struggling with the forced social isolation.
“I’m very depressed. I’m very depressed behind it,” Hutchinson said.
CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
On Tuesday, voters re-elected Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Newcomers Ritchie Torres and Jamaal Bowman also won their congressional races. They have all vowed to address the deep disparities in the Bronx.
As recovery comes with a lot more ground to make up.
MORE FROM CBS NEW YORKMORE NEWS: Fauci Says Unvaccinated Americans Are 'Propagating This Outbreak' As Delta Spreads
- New York City’s New Quarantine Travel Rules Begin, New Jersey Adds States To Advisory List
- More Than 2,000 Inmates Released Early From New Jersey State Prisons In Effort To Prevent COVID Spread
- NYPD: At Least 50 People Arrested After Attempting To ‘Hijack’ Peaceful Protest In Midtown
You can get the latest news, sports and weather on our brand new CBS New York app. Download here.