Ten shipping containers filled with food, baby products, and over-the-counter medications like Tylenol — all supplies desperately needed in the days and weeks following Hurricane Maria — were found rotting in a Puerto Rico parking lot last week, never distributed.
The New York Times reports that a local Puerto Rican radio station found the goods, melted, spoiled, and covered in rat droppings, in a parking lot outside one of Puerto Rico’s state elections offices. The goods were clearly meant to help Puerto Ricans in need, many of whom went weeks without electricity and running water last summer in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
The items, Radio Isla reports, were all private donations made by non-profits. Those items were “collected at the election commissions offices, and then distributed to the National Guard,” who gave the items to struggling residents. After the crisis subsided, though, Puerto Rico’s government officials apparently gave up on distributing supplies and left them rotting, still in their trailers, just outside their offices in San Juan.
Authorities told The New York Times that the goods had been there for “more than a year.” In one of the containers, a local official said, was “whatever was left after the National Guard left was put in those containers.” (Read more from “Food Donated to Puerto Rico Hurricane Victims Found Rotting in Parking Lot” HERE)