Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that major shipments of supplies, including more than 425,000 pounds of water, diapers, baby food, wipes, canned goods, dry food, juice, and solar-powered lamps have been delivered to Puerto Rico. The supplies -- donated by New Yorkers at collection sites across the state -- are being distributed to targeted communities across the island over the coming days. The supplies were delivered on two cargo flights chartered by TIDAL and in the cargo hold of a JetBlue passenger flight. The Governor dispatched State Homeland Security Commissioner Roger Parrino to oversee the operation on the ground and ensure all supplies reach communities in need.
"When things are at their worst, New Yorkers are at their best and this state has proved that once again with the overwhelming generosity that has been shown for our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico struggling to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Maria," Governor Cuomo said. "Make no mistake, the recovery process is only beginning and the path that lays ahead for Puerto Rico is a difficult one, but New Yorkers are in this for the long haul. We will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with our fellow Americans until the island is built back even better than before."
As part of the TIDAL X: Puerto Rico initiative, the global music and entertainment company chartered two 747 cargo planes, the first on Saturday and the second yesterday, carrying a total of 400,000 pounds of supplies. Jet Blue transported an additional 25,000 pounds of supplies aboard a passenger flight that arrived in Puerto Rico on Saturday. The three shipments include:
In addition, TIDAL has supported the transport of an additional 100,000 pounds of much needed supplied to Puerto Rico from Miami.
"The outpouring of love and support for the TIDAL X: Puerto Rico initiative has been so overwhelming," said Dania Diaz of Roc Nation, supporting TIDAL philanthropy efforts. "We are so proud to represent our community in this mission to help our Puerto Rican family during this time of crisis."
Robin Hayes, president and CEO, JetBlue, said, "As JetBlue continues to support Puerto Rico, launching relief and recovery programs for the island within 100 days in 35 ways, we'd like to thank Governor Cuomo for his ongoing leadership in the recovery efforts. With his continued focus, championing the critical needs in Puerto Rico, we have been able to connect with many like-minded organizations to fill not only our own flights with supplies and critical personnel, but to be able to deliver an additional 110 tons of supplies thanks to the generous support of our fellow New York Airline, Atlas Air."
Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Roger L. Parrino said, "I am witnessing first-hand the devastation and destruction facing the people of Puerto Rico. I am impressed at the strength of my fellow Americans as they stoically move forward down the difficult road to recovery. It is imperative that we continue to do all we can to make sure that vital food, supplies and services get to all of Puerto Rico, including those communities away from the coast that are in dire need."
Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, co-chair of the Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort, said, "This major shipment demonstrates New York's continued commitment to helping our Puerto Rican brothers and sisters as they work to rebuild their homes, infrastructure and lives. I thank Governor Cuomo for his unwavering dedication to partnering with the island
Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, co-chair of the Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort, said, "The goods and supplies that were successfully delivered to Puerto Rico from New York State will provide critical assistance to the people of the island as they get back on their feet following Hurricane Maria. I look forward to continuing to work with Governor Cuomo and thank him for his leadership. Our neighbors in Puerto Rico can rest assured that New York stands with them as they travel down the long road to recovery."
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said, "Puerto Rico faces a long and arduous road ahead as they work to rebuild their lives from the ground up after Hurricane Maria left their communities ravaged. With this shipment of vital supplies, donated by generous New Yorkers in the Bronx and throughout the state, we are making clear that stand by the side of our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico. I sincerely thank Governor Cuomo for spearheading the relief effort from our state to provide aid and assistance to our Puerto Rican family."
This shipment is the latest in a long line of efforts by New York to help Puerto Rico in their time of need. Last week, Governor Cuomo announced the deployment of emergency medical supplies to help ensure that Puerto Rican residents have access to critical medical care. In addition, at the request of Governor Ricardo Rosselló, Governor Cuomo readied teams of more than 100 medical personnel who are prepared to deploy to Puerto Rico. These efforts build upon the Governor's Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort for Puerto Rico, an initiative which has brought together civic, business, and industry partners to help the people of Puerto Rico recover and rebuild.
In addition, last week, Governor Cuomo announced a partnership with UNICEF USA and UPS to deliver critically needed supplies to Puerto Rican communities. Last week, UPS delivered more than 100,000 bottles of water donated by New Yorkers from across the state. UNICEF USA also delivered emergency supply kits to provide approximately 60,000 people with basic hygiene supplies, including water purification tablets, water buckets, soap, toothpaste, detergent, sanitary pads and more.
Governor Cuomo has also engaged the Partnership for New York City, the city's leading business organization, to establish the Puerto Rico Relief & Rebuilding Fund at New York Community Trust, a public foundation, that will make grants to local charitable organizations in Puerto Rico that are helping with recovery and rebuilding from the devastation of Hurricane Maria, focusing on the most needy households and communities. Funds and in-kind contributions are being solicited from the business community, with a minimum donation of $10,000.
To date, New York has deployed:
Prior to this weekend's shipment, New York previously sent more than 150,000 bottles of water, 4,000 canned goods, 17,000 packages of baby wipes, 4,000 packages of diapers and 10 generators to the island.
For more information about the recovery and relief efforts underway in Puerto Rico, and to learn how you can assist, please visit the Governor's Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort for Puerto Rico webpage.