On Sunday, Mrs Hernandez Cruz denied in a statement that she had left the stall unattended.
“I was very upset the day the sanitation department threw a palette of fruits and vegetables from my stand,” he said in a statement translated from Spanish. “I was present here.”
Under city law, one should try to donate confiscated food for those who may be in need, but only after an employee of the health department signs his or her safety. In the case of Mrs Hernandez Cruz, officials said no such decision had been made.
As people shouted at them to throw away food, the cleaning staff stopped cleaning the stand. When they left, Mrs. Kaufman-Guterres of the Street Vendor Project said Mrs. Hernandez Cruz called on those who were around to pick up whatever was left.
Democrat MP Nathalia Fernandez, who represents the area, said the move to dump the product in a garbage truck was particularly interesting where it happened. According to a 2020 report, one in five Bronx residents experience “food insecurity” or a lack of reliable access to adequately affordable, nutritious food.
“People are struggling with food insecurity every day,” Ms Fernandez said, expressing frustration with the “literally dumping” of fresh produce.
“This ongoing war against street vendors should end,” he added.
In January, the city council took a step toward relieving at least some unlicensed vendors, approving legislation that called for the issuance of 400 new permits a year for 10 years.
Nonetheless, the authorities have cracked down on vendors operating illegally in recent months. The use of force became easier during the height of the epidemic, when many people turned to selling food on the streets to make money after losing their jobs. Fines start at 1,000.