Hundreds of Homeless Get a Fancy Meal from a Chinese Billionaire

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Three busloads of residents from the homeless shelter New York City Rescue Mission arrived at Central Park for a three-course meal at Loeb Boathouse, a restaurant on the lake.

Chinese billionaire Chen Guangbiao treated the 250 homeless people for the free lunch. He said his brother and sister died from hunger when he was a child, and he wanted to give back.

On the menu: sesame-seed-encrusted tuna, beef filet and berries with crème fraiche.

“It was one of them meals like, if you was working, you still might not be able to afford it,” said Bernard Johnson. He’s lived at the downtown shelter for two months and gets a small stipend as the head of housekeeping there.

He said it felt nice to be pampered a little.

“I had people bringing me the food and picking up my plates, it was alright.”

But Zack Torres, who eats at the shelter and lives on the street, said the money spent on the lunch could have gone towards filling the food pantry at the shelter. 

“They gave us rich food for the poor people, I don't think that was really smart,” Torres said.


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Comments [3]

Matt from Brooklyn

This is such a farce of a story. I could not agree more with the above commentator. Due diligence should be the highest creed in broadcast journalism, something I come to expect from WNYC above all others. I do not know what kind of awards Ms. Gonzales has won in the past but this fluff piece could be a serious contender for Most Absent From Event Covered.

Jun. 26 2014 12:22 PM
deon from easr harlem

i expect more from wnyc!!!!!!! you didnt report the whole story. im shocked! usually your so good. you missed it here.

Jun. 26 2014 10:51 AM
Jon-Marc Seimon from New York

Ms Gonzalez:

The extent to which you missed the real story on this is mind-blowing, unto the point that what what you broadcast amounts to a puff-piece at best, disinformation at worst. For example, the fact that Mr Guangbiao offered $300 to each homeless guest to attend? The fact that when this offer was reneged, there was widespread disgruntlement among the participants? The fact that in order to assuage mounting passions a trolley loaded with $100 bills was trundled onto stage where Mr Guangbiao "symbolically" gave a few selected participants $300 — on condition that they give it back? The fact that he sang "We are the world"?

Seriously! Were you even there? Here's a link to the NY Times article so you can see what you missed.

Sorry to be bitchy, but I expect way more from WNYC.

Jun. 26 2014 09:18 AM

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