In the U.S. millions of employees are out of work temporarily due to Coronavirus, but actually Americans are losing their jobs or being laid off. Certain fields are either without work or still working reduced hours.
Cooks, bartenders, and servers numbering 3.2 million may now be looking for another way to pay their bills as well as 2.5 million people working in the arts, entertainment, and recreation industry. Surprisingly, even with educators being able to teach remotely, over a million teaching assistants are also being affected.
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Food Banks Struggling Due To The Lack Of Donations
The President signed a 2 trillion dollar stimulus bill that will send checks to most Americans and expand unemployment benefits. Government aid is on the way, but in the interim, many will need the support of nonprofits that offer assistance with food and bills. However, the food banks are also struggling to meet needs, with overwhelming declines in donations and volunteers.
We can take a glimpse of our future by looking at countries that were hit with COVID-19 earlier than the U.S. In the U.K. people are so thoroughly isolated that few are willing to brave the outside to volunteer causing food banks to limit their hours of operation and even start closing. Further, food pantries are running critically low on supplies due to lack of donations and supermarket purchase limits.
In the U.S. hotbeds for Coronavirus have already taken a turn towards the same dire situation. In Seattle, WA over 80% of food donations come from grocery stores, and since customers are buying supplies at a higher volume, the items that would be close to perishing and therefore donated, do not reach that point.
Blood Banks Also Suffering
Not only are vital donations of food in decline, blood banks are also suffering losses. In the Northeast, social isolation has slowed more than the intended Coronavirus, but donations to blood banks as well. Entire blood drives have been canceled, with the Red Cross estimating lost opportunities upwards of 8,000 pints of blood.
Some are answering the call to bolster donations and even finding ways to serve our communities safely. With innovations such as drive-thru and pick up by appointment, mobile distribution models are making volunteering and receiving food much safer. Will these nonprofits be able to continue distributing aid? Will people find a way to still give during a pandemic? Only you can decide.
Learn more about giving during a pandemic here!