On a recent day, residents from the Haven Plaza Housing Development and a nearby NYCHA housing complex picked up much-needed food and other supplies from volunteers

The need for assistance has not dissipated on the Lower East Side even as the city progresses in its reopening.

"Everyone was afraid to come outside and didn't want to do nothing, we have to serve the elderly and the children," said Albert, a longtime neighborhood resident and volunteer. 

"In this particular area the youth and the senior citizens are definitely underserved right now", said Francisco Gonzalez, another volunteer and neighborhood activist. 

The distribution was organized by Vision Urbana, which has been helping Lower East Side residents since 1993.

The organization took its already existing food pantry to the next level with events like this food distribution and home delivery of hot meals and groceries. 

"Instead of having them come to us, we pre-bag for them and knock on their door and leave it on their doorstep," said Eric Diaz, Executive Director of Vision Urbana.

The work of the organization is always pivotal, but especially now.

The Food Bank for New York City says almost 40 percent of soup kitchens and food pantries in the five boroughs have shut their doors during the pandemic.  

"These people who are really dedicated are here because they care so deeply about this community that they are going to fight for it every single day," said State Assemblyman Harvey Epstein. 

"When we come to their door with groceries or they see us out here there is honestly a sense of relief," said City Council member Carlina Rivera.

Vision Urbana has gone from serving 200 neighbors a week to more than 1500 since the coronavirus outbreak began.

Among those lending a hand is Mikey Cole, who grew up nearby and owns Mikey Likes It Ice Cream a few blocks away and in Harlem.   

"The more we can put positive energy back into the neighborhood, nothing but greatness can happen" said Mikey Cole. 

Vision Urbana forsees doing food distributions and home deliveries through at least the end of this year.