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New York’s Unemployed Restaurant Workers Struggle for Food, Housing

Outdoor dining has spread across New York City, but many restaurants have opted out, and reduced capacities means some workers are still unemployed.

Mazin Sidahmed

Aug 17, 2020

MASA Volunteers prepare bags of food that include classic Mexican staples like maseca to distribute to their members. Credit: MASA

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Thousands of restaurant workers, many of whom are immigrants, are out of work due to the coronavirus pandemic. In New York, 60 percent of hospitality industry workers are unemployed, according to the latest unemployment figures. Social service centers such as Alianza Ecuatoriana Internacional in Corona, Queens, are providing much-needed help to the many who are out of work. The organization’s executive director said many people who come to their food bank are former restaurant and food workers. The city has started allowing outdoor dining, but only half of the city’s restaurants have opted to do so, and most are only getting 30 to 50 percent of their normal volume. That has left some workers still unemployed, and as a result, struggling for food and facing eviction from their homes. Eater

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Help us Cover the Election!

It’s hard to imagine the election is only around 100 days away. At Documented, we want our election coverage to be informed by issues that matter to readers, so we want your feedback. If you’re interested, please email info@documentedny.com with your thoughts on this question: What immigration-related issues do you want the candidates to be talking about as they compete for votes?

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Mazin Sidahmed

Mazin Sidahmed is the co-executive director of Documented. He previously worked for the Guardian US in New York. He started his career writing for The Daily Star in Beirut and he also contributed to Politico New York.




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