The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Hunger and Housing Disaster Looms

Aug 10, 2020

In a federal survey of moms of children under age 13, almost 17 percent reported, “The children in my household were not eating enough because we just couldn’t afford enough food.” This was backed up by the Brookings Institute, which calculated that over one third of all households with a child 18 or under are lacking necessary food to support an active, healthy life.

This despite the fact that since March, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.) has loosened many rules to allow states to provide emergency benefit supplements to struggling families. The rise in the number of SNAP cases in March, April and May of 2020 was faster than what happened in 2008 during the Great Recession.

On top of food worries, experts predict the largest housing disruption since the Great Depression if current moratoriums on evictions and current improved unemployment and food assistance benefits are not renewed.

On August 1, with no political action on the federal level, expanded unemployment benefits to 30 million had lapsed, most eviction protections had lapsed and additions to SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—handled by the states—had lapsed.

With additional layoffs scheduled for August, September and October, experts are describing the scale of potential evictions coming as a disaster.

Twenty-two percent of households said in a Census Bureau survey that they would not be able to make their August rent or mortgage payment. This could have a ripple effect, as about 40 percent of the nation’s 48.2 million rental units are owned by “mom-and-pop” operators who tend to have less financial cushion.

Food and shelter are necessary for human life and this is exponentially true during a pandemic. If society cannot provide this, then a new society is needed!