Despite the exponential influx of people to the area around Zuccotti Park and their 24/7 presence, local food vendors have seen their customers dwindle.
One recent morning, a protester casually walked up to Amin's window and, gesturing to her steaming cup of coffee, asked for some sugar. Amin, seemingly helpless, handed her back two packets.
"Can I plug this in? I'll pay for something," another protester asked, showing Amin his iPod, already attached to the charger and dropping some coins on the counter. Amin graciously accepted and placed it onto a shelf.
According to Amin, the protesters have a central place in the middle of all the tents in Zuccotti Park to charge phones and electronics, but often there isn't enough room for everyone, so they come to him.
Before the protesters took over Zuccotti Park, Amin would typically come in at 6 a.m. and sell all but a few of his pastries by 1 p.m. Today, at 12:30pm, Amin's shelves are still stocked with dozens of donuts and muffins. Amin is frustrated and worried for the family he supports through the truck. But he also thinks that the people are right to protest for what they believe in.
"This is the first time that I'm late for my rent, " he said, citing a 40 percent dip in his sales.
With the newly imposed restrictions by the NYPD officers who surround the park, Amin says he's had to pay someone to constantly stay with the cart in order to keep his spot.
Wong Zhi, who is originally from China, supervises a smoothie truck on Cedar Street.
"We're definitely getting fewer people than before," Says Zhi, who suspects that the protesters and police are scaring his usual Wall Street customers away. "When it gets too crowded, the police don't let us leave. We have to stay all night, and so do they."
In addition to police presence, Zhi also has noticed more frequent visits by officials from the Department of Health. "They're afraid that [the protesters] will do something so they go shut off the gas," he says, pointing to the neighboring hot food truck.
Zeinab Belal Elnadouri, owner of the coffee cart on the corner of Cedar and Broadway, agrees that hot food trucks have been badly affected by the protests. "Business is hurting," she said, "[The protesters] don't buy food, they get it by donations."
The Occupy Wall Street protesters receive food and monetary donations from around the country and even outside the U.S. Protesters have also established their own Service Inventory and Shipments (SIS) system and have food storage locations off-site manned by volunteers.
Despite the drop in business, Elnadouri emphatically agrees with the protesters and their cause.
"Of course I agree with them! But the food permits are too expensive. It's very bad now," he said.
City Limits is grateful to the City University of New York's Graduate School of Journalism and Professor Lisa Armstrong, who oversaw this project.