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New safety measures at NYC's most important food hub as outbreak continues

Posted at 7:57 PM, May 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-18 19:57:24-04

BRONX — Hunts Point Terminal in the Bronx provides over 70 percent of the produce to our area, and operations have changed drastically since the coronavirus pandemic hit, according to the owner a produce wholesaler.

Nathel and Nathel has been operating its produce distribution business at the Hunts Point market for over 98 years, owner Ira Nathel said. The wholesaler has 190 workers and they've needed to change things up to keep them safe and healthy while keeping New Yorkers fed.

“The people don’t think of what it takes to get it on to the grocery store shelves,” Nathel said.

To keep workers safe, hand sanitizer stations were installed. Workers are mandated to stay six feet apart inside the warehouse and wear masks and gloves. The sales booth is all enclosed with plexiglas to protect workers.

Every Saturday, an outside cleaning company comes in and disinfects the warehouse and, at the end of each shift, workers disinfect and wipe down all trucks.

Nathel and Nathel’s warehouse manager, Jay Fuentes, said his co-workers are busy selecting, packing, driving and selling produce.

“We have have to feed New York, feed the people,” Fuentes said.