José A. Alvarado Jr.

Location: New York
Nationality: Puerto Rican American
Biography: José A. Alvarado Jr. (b.1989) is a Puerto Rican photographer dedicated to documenting class inequality, civic engagement, and contemporary issues in Puerto Rico and New York City. He works primarily in long-form storytelling, using visual... read on
Food Delivery Apps Are Booming. Their Workers Are Often Struggling.
josé a. alvarado jr.
Nov 30, 2020
Location: New York City
"When the pandemic lockdown led the Manhattan restaurant where Natanael Evangelista was an employee to close for good, he quickly shifted to working for food delivery apps. He had few options. He was undocumented, did not speak much English and needed money badly. He owed months’ worth of rent, and his family in Mexico needed help.

But he was worried. Two of his cousins were also delivery workers — one had contracted the coronavirus and fallen into a coma, while the other had been assaulted and had his bike stolen.

With hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers out of work and the city’s unemployment rate at 13.2 percent, many desperate people have turned to working for food delivery apps like DoorDash, Uber Eats and Grubhub, which have seen huge demand from customers who are working from home.

While delivery drivers have been essential to feeding New Yorkers and keeping them safe, their working conditions, already precarious before the pandemic, have gotten worse.
The recent surge in cases means greater risk of exposure traveling from restaurants to homes. Rising crime in New York City has also led to instances of assault and bicycle theft.

“Delivery work is a dangerous business,” Mr. Evangelista, 27, said. “It’s very worrying.”"

Photographed for The New York Times with words by Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura.

Food Delivery Apps Are Booming. Their Workers Are Often Struggling.
Delivery drivers have been essential to feeding New York, while boosting sales for companies like DoorDash and Uber. But they say work conditions have gotten worse.

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