Turkey Day saved by dedicated crew of City Harvest workers
By Bill Parry
Thousands of New Yorkers will sit down to Thanksgiving dinner thanks to a crew of dedicated workers at the City Harvest warehouse located at 55-01 2nd St. in Long Island City.
The organization, known for distributing food to the poor, was able to salvage 10,000 turkeys after its warehouse was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy and its fleet of trucks and its refrigeration units were wiped out.
Flooding from Newtown Creek inundated the parking lot and loading dock the night of storm, and when compressors for the refrigeration units were knocked out of commission, managers had to find a way to save the frozen turkeys from thawing out and spoiling.
“We lost our entire fleet of 18 trucks to the flood,” said Miguel Bido, Director of Transportation and Warehousing. They had to rent three trailer trucks to transport 67 pallets of frozen turkeys to other warehouses in the Bronx and Brooklyn.
The morning after the storm, the staff showed up early knowing there would be a huge amount of work to do, such as cleaning up the warehouse and assessing the damage. While many carpooled because of the gasoline shortage, one supervisor rode his bicycle from the Bronx.
“I made it here at 5:30am that Tuesday,” said Bido. “We were on our own for three days before any City or State agencies checked in on us. We were our own cavalry.”
Bido started at City Harvest just three months ago. “Talk about a trial by fire,” he said, “At the end of the day it’s been very rewarding. For the people that work here, it’s not just a job. They care about getting food to the people that need it.”