NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — In Washington, the House is expected to approve a COVID relief package. But it still has to get through the Senate.
CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge spoke with some New Yorkers likely to be impacted by these decisions the most.READ MORE: Stimulus Check Latest: Will Your Next Relief Payment Be $1,400?
The line at a food pantry in the Bronx wrapped around the building Friday.
One woman at the Grand Concourse pantry told Duddridge she doesn’t usually get too involved in politics, but said a stimulus check would ease her worries about affording rent and food for her family. And maybe help get her back on her feet.
Catholic charities is handing out boxes of dry food, vegetables & milk to 500 families at the Bronx Terminal Market. Many people in line lost their jobs during the pandemic, and say they are eagerly waiting the approval of another stimulus check to help pay rent @CBSNewYork pic.twitter.com/37ZhXXCzZs
— Natalie Duddridge (@NatDuddridgeTV) February 26, 2021
Manny Mejia got in line at the Bronx Terminal Market on Exterior Street at 6 a.m. to wait for boxes of dry food, vegetables, a gallon of milk and even a new winter coat.
“I lost my job. I lost everything. I don’t got no job. I don’t got nothing,” Mejia said.
He’s among 500 people Catholic Charities’ emergency food assistance program is helping at this pop-up event.READ MORE: House Poised To Vote On Biden's $1.9 Trillion Relief Bill
“The need is crucial. Since the start of the pandemic to September, we served over 1 million meals,” said Corina Pintor-Holloman, program director for Feeding Our Neighbors. “Now, we’re at 3.8 million meals and at this point we’ve done 175 pop-up pantries.”
Many of these families are out of work and anxiously waiting for the approval of another round of stimulus checks.
“I don’t know what the holdup is. Republicans, I can understand, maybe they’re trying to keep the budget down. But for right now it’s needed. People got to choose between rent, food for their kids,” said Leonidas Gloster from the Bronx.
What will not be included in the bill is a $15 minimum hourly wage. Democrats tried to include it, but it did not meet strict budgetary rules.
New York City’s minimum wage is already $15, but Connecticut’s and New Jersey’s is not.
“I have to go out and get a second job, and I’ve known people who have to go to second jobs,” said one woman.
“We’re trying to put a [bandage] on a bigger need. Something like the stimulus check, minimum wage, $15, that’s what’s going to sustain the families for the long run,” said Rolando Rodriguez of Catholic Charities.MORE NEWS: New Jersey Minimum Wage Jumps Up To $12 An Hour, Part Of Deal To Get It To $15 By 2024
Volunteers with Catholic Charities are also working to sign families up for SNAP benefits, or food stamps.