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Wed Sep 16, 2020, 03:32 PM

More americans turning to food banks to survive pandemic

The pandemic has exposed the fragile nature of success for millions of Americans: material markers of outward stability, if not prosperity, but next to nothing to fall back on when times get tough.

In conversations around the country this August — at kitchen tables, in living rooms and in cars during slow-moving food lines with rambunctious children in the back — Americans reflected on their new reality. The shame and embarrassment. The loss of choice in something as basic as what to eat. The worry over how to make sure their children get a healthy diet. The fear that their lives will never get back on track.

There was the family in Jackson, Miss., that relied on a local food bank over the summer, even though before the pandemic they had been making almost six figures a year. That is a nice living in a place like Jackson, and it got them a house in the leafy Belhaven neighborhood, a Chevy Suburban and beach vacations to Florida.

Or the single mother in Tennessee who had finally pushed her way into the middle class with a job that paid enough to send her oldest daughter to private school, only to find herself accepting food from charity.

Ms. Cazimero, 40, faced her new financial circumstances with as much equanimity as determination, even as it shook her sense of what it meant to have made it. Before the pandemic, she was a hair stylist at a salon owned by her mother-in-law that would shut down in accordance with California’s coronavirus rules. She also ran her own events business, which had been “rocking and rolling” after a lucrative holiday season decking out car dealerships for Christmas. Her husband, Adam, saw far fewer people come into the local Ford dealership where he works, and his commissions have plummeted.

These days she has become an armchair therapist to friends who feel ashamed at not being able to afford enough food; a logistics specialist in how she navigates the schedules of all the pantries in San Diego County; and a food procurer and distributor to the needy, even as she is needy herself.

“Before, I always helped out,” she said. “But I wasn’t the one who needed it. Now I need it.”

After making her rounds, Ms. Cazimero returned to her modest house in a development studding a hillside, and separated out what will go to her family, and what she will give away to neighbors and others. Over Facebook and text message groups, informal barter networks have sprouted among needy families. “You have toilet paper? Let’s trade,” she said.

She reminds them they are not the only ones. “Dude,” she said, “none of us can because we can’t work.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/03/us/food-pantries-hunger-us.html

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Reply More americans turning to food banks to survive pandemic (Original post)
ansible Sep 16 OP
Alacritous Crier Sep 16 #1
ansible Sep 16 #4
gratuitous Sep 16 #2
tblue37 Sep 16 #3
Demovictory9 Sep 16 #5

Response to ansible (Original post)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 03:41 PM

1. How much longer until Hoovervilles??

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Response to Alacritous Crier (Reply #1)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 04:11 PM

4. Already been around for several years here in California

I live in the Central Valley and Highway 99 is just full of homeless camps right by the freeway. Guess they've resorted to going there since they won't easily get kicked out on public land.

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Response to ansible (Original post)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 03:48 PM

2. For all of Trump's greatest economy ever

How come so many millions of people were just one paycheck away from poverty? Nobody had any savings or cushion, they were all working as hard as they could at their job and in many cases jobs just to stay afloat. Where did all the wealth that labor produced go to, since it wasn't in the pockets of the people who had created it?

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Response to ansible (Original post)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 04:06 PM

3. That was an important but depressing read. nt

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Response to ansible (Original post)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 04:56 PM

5. nice of her to gather and help others

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