Members of the NYC Sanitation Department team recently returned from performing relief efforts in Puerto Rico joined Bronx Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda's staff on Thursday, Nov.16 to distribute turkeys to several families forced to flee the devastation on the island and other nearby islands from Hurricane Maria.
"Seeing the destruction in photos and on TV, I can't imagine the suffering these families and others went through, and are still going through. I hope these turkey at least help to bring some holiday cheer," said Sepulveda.
"I applaud the work of this Sanitation Department team, whose expertise was critical to the recovery effort," he added.
Sepulveda, in a statement, joined with First Deputy Sanitation Commissioner Steven Costas, who was on hand to help distribute the turkeys outside the Assemblyman's Parkchester district office, in thanking the Municipal Credit Union for its financial donation for the turkeys., who was on hand to, also thanked the Municipal Credit Union’s support.
Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Davis said in a statement: "The DSNY PREMA 31 team spent three weeks on the island assisting the residents of Puerto Rico in recovering from the storm. Today, they are proud to help distribute these Thanksgiving turkeys to those in need," she said. "We appreciate Assemblyman Sepulveda’s help in identifying the families receiving these donations and wish them all a great holiday and speedy return to their beloved homeland.”
The team members who attended turkey event performed crucial damage assessment on the hurricane-ravaged main island and on its nearby islands of Vieques and Culebra.
Their work allowed local and federal response to better assess the personnel and heavy- and light-duty equipment needed to deliver supplies, remove debris and assist in rebuilding. The team also assisted in distributing supplies.
Along with the turkeys from the Department of Sanitation, Montefiore Medical Center and the National Supermarket Association also contributed turkeys, which will be distributed to local churches, food pantries, senior centers and other organizations.
Sepulveda continues to collect relief supplies for Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and other affected islands at his district office. He also just began a coat drive for those who fled the islands for New York City.
While praising his early efforts, the Assemblyman called on Gov. Cuomo to help those who have fled the devastation of Hurricane Maria who have a number of critical issues when they arrive in New York, including housing, education, and transferring different health insurance and Medicaid plans.
Assemblyman Sepulveda represents the 87th Assembly District covering Parkchester, Castle Hill, West Farms, Van Nest and Stratton Park.