The popular 14th Street fruit vendor has reopened after a month-long COVID-19 closure.
Although food truck vendors have been deemed essential workers during the city-wide shutdown, the virtual elimination of street traffic has forced many to shutter their operations.
While the vendor at 14th Street and First Avenue didn’t want to give T&V his name or comment on his re-opening, local residents were quick to let us know he was back in business.
“He is a lovely man. The fruit is excellent and the price is right. Please let everyone know he has re-opened.” said one ST-PCV resident in an email.
With vendors reporting dramatic losses since the pandemic struck, some City council members have been lobbying for more support to help them survive.
“Street vendors across the five boroughs are reporting loss in sales of up to 80 percent,” said City Councilmember Margaret Chin who, along with seven other council members, has written to Mayor Bill de Blasio seeking help for those affected. “Street vendors are primarily low-wage immigrant workers who rely on busy streets in order to survive day to day,” said the letter to the Mayor.
The letter calls for urgent help for “frontline food workers whose needs are falling between the cracks of current city policy.”
Among the requests are a moratorium on license enforcement after several vendors reported being ticketed for failure to display mobile food vending permit.
“Instead of spending time on squeezing money out of immigrant workers … our city needs to create a comprehensive relief package that is inclusive of all types of businesses and workers, and that includes street vendors,”Council member Chin told Eater online website.
The Council members are also asking that outstanding tickets issued to vendors since January 2020 be waived and that street food vendors be included in any upcoming emergency relief funds for workers.
Photo top by Photo by Rachel Goddard