Amid Pandemic, New Yorkers Step Up Volunteering Efforts

Peter Haskell
March 27, 2020 - 4:15 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — With many New Yorkers stuck at home, many are looking for new ways to put their time to good use by volunteering.

In the face of a pandemic, New Yorkers are showing their true colors and Gary Bagley, the head of New York Cares, says they have been flooded with 7,000 new volunteers.

“We're incredibly grateful and, by the way, that number has been going up between 500 and 1,000 a day,” he said.

The challenge, however, is keeping those new volunteers safe from infection.

“It's a very hard question to figure out exactly what people can do and it actually varies,” Bagley adds.

Not every mission will need to be in person, but Bagley says regardless of where you go, please pitch in.

“There will be a lot of ways people can help. Right now, New York Cares is just in the final stages of setting up phone banking,” he explains.

Meanwhile, chef Jose Andres, who became a folk-hero of sorts while feeding the hungry in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, is working to feed New York City with his charity, World Central Kitchen.

“It's really about providing people that dignified plate of food,” said Sam Bloch, director of field operations. 

He says 20,000 meals are being offered at 25 locations every day.

“We're actually giving out multiple days of meals at one time. So, all the food is precooked. But then has been chilled and ready for them to just reheat,” he explains.

The food is made at a kitchen in Edison, New Jersey.