‘If coronavirus doesn’t get us, starvation will’: A growing number of Americans say they can’t afford to stock up on groceries

  
Via:  john-russell  •  one week ago  •  42 comments

‘If coronavirus doesn’t get us, starvation will’: A growing number of Americans say they can’t afford to stock up on groceries

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


She waited until the third Wednesday of the month, the day her Social Security check landed in the bank, before she got into her Nissan and drove to the local supermarket in search of a few basics: spaghetti, ground beef and distilled water for her sleep apnea machine.

But by the time she’d arrived, all of those items were gone. It had been over a week since the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had urged Americans like her — older, with chronic health conditions — to “stock up” and stay home because of the deepening   coronavirus   crisis, which was upending every aspect of daily life and shutting down entire cities. The president even went on TV to urge people to avoid gatherings of more than 10.

But like millions of Americans on fixed incomes, who rely on social security, disability checks or food stamps to buy necessities each month, Brown doesn’t have much of a choice. It is nearly impossible, she says, to stock up on food, medication or other necessities beyond what she would normally buy.

“Of course I would’ve liked to buy groceries sooner,” said Brown, 69, a retired courtroom clerk in Burlington, N.C. “But I’m only getting checks once a month. Once that’s gone, I’m broke until the next one comes.”

Across the country, already-struggling Americans are being urged to buy more at one time and embrace social distancing to help   slow the outbreak’s spread . At the same time, supermarkets are getting picked over, as panic-stricken consumers snap up rice, pasta, beans and canned vegetables — the kind of inexpensive staples that Brown has learned to stretch into a month’s worth of meals.

White House officials are considering various emergency measures to help Americans, including sending $1,000 checks   directly to workers   in coming weeks. But while that money may provide temporary relief — and enough cash to pay for groceries and other expenses short-term, many say it would not provide long-term security at a time when jobs are drying up and the economy teeters toward recession.


Tags

jrDiscussion - desc
smarty_function_ntUser_is_admin: user_id parameter required
[]
 
JohnRussell
1  seeder  JohnRussell    one week ago

I say Richard Burr buys her groceries for the next six months. 

 
 
 
Larry Hampton
1.1  Larry Hampton  replied to  JohnRussell @1    one week ago

I’ve been saying for weeks. Folks not being able to work will lead to as much deprivation as coronavirus. 
Strange that there is enough food, but not enough money to buy it. That is a moral failure. 

 
 
 
Larry Hampton
1.1.1  Larry Hampton  replied to  Larry Hampton @1.1    one week ago

Btw, being malnourished increases the likelihood of infection and inability to treat illness many times. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
1.1.2  sandy-2021492  replied to  Larry Hampton @1.1    one week ago
Strange that there is enough food

Sometimes.

When our local CVS had a fully-stocked milk refrigerator, I thought I'd hit the mother lode.  Some foods can be hard to find here on some days.  Canned foods, potatoes, milk, and eggs are hit-or-miss.  There might be none one day, and plenty the next.

 
 
 
Ender
1.1.3  Ender  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.1.2    one week ago

Here most meat products are gone. Can't find ground beef and no chicken. Did find some Bubba burgers. Found some odd brand lunch meats.

There are shipments and like you said, kinda hit and miss.

Honestly I think most of the hoarding is about done. Only so many rolls of TP or cans of beans one can have in stock.

I think that will even out soon enough, then the problem will be people have no money and no job.

 
 
 
Larry Hampton
1.1.4  Larry Hampton  replied to  Ender @1.1.3    one week ago

As well, we will see TONS of food thrown right out in the garbage. People may buy all kindsa stuff, but will not use it. Wait and see. 
Our local food places ( for us, Hugo’s, Sam’s Club etc.) have put up signs on all their products the last couple of days that say “one item only”. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
1.1.5  sandy-2021492  replied to  Larry Hampton @1.1.4    one week ago

When I went to Food Lion a few nights ago, the woman checking out in the next aisle had mounds of red meat on the conveyor belt.  Like half of what Food Lion generally keeps on its shelves.  She had two grocery carts overflowing with that, chips, and soda.  Unless she was feeding an army, she couldn't go through that much food in two weeks.  I wouldn't have the freezer space for that much meat, unless I'd already thrown out everything in my deep freeze.

And those limits - my mom was complaining about a man she knows who went to Sam's.  They had a 2-per-customer limit on toilet paper.  He bought 2, then sent his wife in to buy 2 more.  They live alon.  Four Sam's-sized packs of toilet paper is way more than they need.

 
 
 
pat wilson
1.1.6  pat wilson  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.1.5    one week ago

It's repulsive.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
1.1.7  sandy-2021492  replied to  pat wilson @1.1.6    one week ago

Mom had to bite her tongue while the TP hoarder was talking.  He was so proud of himself.

 
 
 
1stwarrior
1.1.8  1stwarrior  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.1.5    one week ago

Yeah - we've had a couple of folks at Albertson's who walked out with THREE SHOPPING CARTS full of food.  Now, there's a "one-item" only policy at Walmart, Target and Albertson's.

 
 
 
Freefaller
1.1.9  Freefaller  replied to  1stwarrior @1.1.8    one week ago

Walmart's doing a two item limit up here, shelves are still pretty barren anyway.  The latest shortage I've noticed is bacon, now that's a tragedy!

 
 
 
Ender
2  Ender    one week ago

Don't see how they can now justify work requirements for food stamps.

 
 
 
Larry Hampton
2.1  Larry Hampton  replied to  Ender @2    one week ago

I don’t either.  Doesn’t make sense. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
2.2  Texan1211  replied to  Ender @2    one week ago
Don't see how they can now justify work requirements for food stamps.

Pretty sure that policy (which is a good one) has been temporarily suspended during the virus crisis.

 
 
 
Ender
2.2.1  Ender  replied to  Texan1211 @2.2    one week ago
which is a good one

So you think...

 
 
 
Texan1211
2.2.2  Texan1211  replied to  Ender @2.2.1    one week ago
So you think...

I believe able-bodied folks should work to contribute to their upkeep.

Obviously, many folks won't be able to work, nor are there jobs for them now.

I've never been against helping people in need.

I don't think it is unreasonable to ask someone to work a few hours to help support themselves, if they are physically and mentally capable of doing so.

 
 
 
Ender
2.2.3  Ender  replied to  Texan1211 @2.2.2    one week ago

The thing is, there are some people that are going to need help their entire lives.

Are there people that gain the system? Of course.

Yet one does not alter a program making it harder on the ones that really need it.

 
 
 
Texan1211
2.2.4  Texan1211  replied to  Ender @2.2.3    one week ago
The thing is, there are some people that are going to need help their entire lives.

Yes, that is true. I have no problems helping folks who need it.

Are there people that gain the system? Of course.

Agreed. Work requirements won't stop that. But at least those gaming the system will have to actually do something.

Yet one does not alter a program making it harder on the ones that really need it.

I like to think that most folks get satisfaction from being able to take care of themselves. Working accomplishes that. I don't see where it is any harder for an able-bodied-and-minded person on assistance to work than it is for a like person not on assistance to work.

I am not against helping people in need.

Not everyone is mentally and physically capable of working and should of course be exempt from such requirements.

 
 
 
Ender
2.2.5  Ender  replied to  Texan1211 @2.2.4    one week ago

I agree to a point. Around here there is actually a group that gets together handicapped people once a year and they get paid to clean and sort used, donated Mardi Gras beads. They get out, do some work, get paid and for some it is almost like an annual gathering and they look forward to it.

Yet, one still does not have to make it harder or put restrictions on them.

Getting an opportunity to go out and do something, or not, is not always an option.

If any changes need to be made start at the beginning of the process and how one is accepted to begin with. Maintain with people and find out actual need. 

As with most things, start with how the plan is administered and maintained instead of altering the plan.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
3  sandy-2021492    one week ago

Restaurants have already started laying off employees, since many states are closing down eat-in establishments.  And as food service workers don't exactly make bank, they're unlikely to have been able to put money aside to support themselves for extended unemployment.

 
 
 
Larry Hampton
3.1  Larry Hampton  replied to  sandy-2021492 @3    one week ago

These are the folks that will reap the reward of coronavirus, whether they are infected or not. 

 
 
 
Ender
3.2  Ender  replied to  sandy-2021492 @3    one week ago

I wonder how many of these business are going to have to close the doors for good.

Then people will have no jobs to go back to.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
3.2.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  Ender @3.2    one week ago

That worries me, too.  Chain restaurants will probably be fine, especially fast food places that have always had drive-through.  Local mom-and-pops are going to struggle.  A locally-owned restaurant near my office is closed for now.  Five years ago, they shut down for 4 or 5 months due to severe flood damage.  I don't know if they can survive 2 lengthy shutdowns in such a short period.

 
 
 
charger 383
3.2.2  charger 383  replied to  sandy-2021492 @3.2.1    one week ago

I sure hope that restaurant reopens  

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
3.2.3  sandy-2021492  replied to  charger 383 @3.2.2    one week ago

Me, too.  Their burgers are pretty tasty.

 
 
 
Texan1211
3.3  Texan1211  replied to  sandy-2021492 @3    one week ago

Many restaurants will be directing their employees to file for unemployment. In Texas, many of these claims will be fast-tracked. It won't replace their incomes, but it will help. Landlords and mortgage companies and utilities are being urged to be compassionate and understanding in these times. Our local Spectrum Tv company is offering free internet to those without if they have kids so they can continue their schoolwork online. One restaurant I know of has a regular couple who eats there 2 times a week for the last 5 years. They called to get the scoop on the situation. (Texas has gone to only to go orders) The couple came in with $1000 for the waitstaff to split. I had a server who ran a to-go order out to a customer's car who got a $200 tip today. Lots of good people out there trying to help. 

 
 
 
loki12
3.3.1  loki12  replied to  Texan1211 @3.3    one week ago

Another thing that will help, ask if your local restaurants can sell you a gift certificate, this way the can use the cash now, our local Thai restaurant just wrote the amount on the back of a business card.

 
 
 
Larry Hampton
3.3.2  Larry Hampton  replied to  Texan1211 @3.3    one week ago

Great stuff Tex; right on man!

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
3.3.3  sandy-2021492  replied to  Texan1211 @3.3    one week ago

Unemployment claims are being fast-tracked here in Virginia, too, or so I've heard.  And utility companies are to suspend shutoffs for non-payment.  I haven't seen any companies that operate here offering free internet, and I do worry about that for local students, but our teachers haven't released an online curriculum yet, so that internet may be irrelevant for education.  Their plan originally was to close school on the 16th and meet to work that out, but now they're meeting on the 23rd, instead.  So, that might change, and I hope there's a solution for internet service, if it does.

Our restaurants are limited to occupancy of 10, so many have just shut their dining rooms and are doing delivery or takeout only.  A few have closed for now.

I'm glad folks are trying to take care of each other.  Seems this is bringing out both the worst and the best in us.

 
 
 
Ender
3.3.4  Ender  replied to  sandy-2021492 @3.3.3    one week ago
utility companies are to suspend shutoffs for non-payment

Hate to say it but that worries me too. When someone finally does get shut off it is going to be harder for them to get it back when they owe 800 vs 200.

 
 
 
Texan1211
3.3.5  Texan1211  replied to  Larry Hampton @3.3.2    one week ago

Even the big chains will be taking a severe hit. Having  drop of 60-70% in sales would hurt any business, but most restaurant operate on very tight margins.

The average profit for a restaurant in America is only about 5% of sales.

Of course the bigger chains will fair much better than independents or small chains. Most independents and small chains lease their buildings and pay property taxes on that space, so that is a big nut right there. One restaurant I worked for, we paid $8k per month in rent and then property taxes totaled almost $5k per month. It probably won't make it through this crisis. They need to average around $200k per month in sales just to break even, and I know they won't come anywhere close to that in sales. They'll be lucky to do $50k per month. Even rich owners won't be liking shelling out $10-15 grand per month.

 
 
 
Ender
3.3.6  Ender  replied to  Texan1211 @3.3.5    one week ago
Even the big chains will be taking a severe hit

On that I have to agree. For big chain operations say like JCPenney, major loss could be a death knell.

 
 
 
Texan1211
3.3.7  Texan1211  replied to  Ender @3.3.4    one week ago
Hate to say it but that worries me too. When someone finally does get shut off it is going to be harder for them to get it back when they owe 800 vs 200.

I'm thinking that the utilities will be encouraged strongly to set up some affordable payment plans, and folks will have to adjust their thermostats up or down and be a tad less comfortable.

I'm hoping the mortgage lenders follow the feds lead and suspend mortgage payments for a few months. They'll get it on the back end of the loan anyways. Sure would help!

 
 
 
Texan1211
3.3.8  Texan1211  replied to  Ender @3.3.6    one week ago
On that I have to agree. For big chain operations say like JCPenney, major loss could be a death knell.

For sure--I don't see JCPenney surviving this. Some other retailers will go belly-up, too, especially clothing stores.

But with so many out of work, so many not making any money, virtually all businesses will be affected in some way.

 
 
 
Ender
3.3.9  Ender  replied to  Texan1211 @3.3.7    one week ago

That's all we need, another housing crisis.

I figure if they don't give some leeway, they will be screwing themselves as well.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
3.3.10  sandy-2021492  replied to  Ender @3.3.9    one week ago

I think a lot of banks found that out in 2008.  A lot of foreclosed homes became toxic property for the banks.  They were responsible for the property taxes, and had to keep them in repair well enough to sell them.  They might have done better to have worked with the borrowers.

 
 
 
Texan1211
3.3.11  Texan1211  replied to  Ender @3.3.9    one week ago
That's all we need, another housing crisis.
I figure if they don't give some leeway, they will be screwing themselves as well.

That's true, but we have to remember, it isn't like they can just rent to someone else. People won't even have enough for a deposit now.

Maybe local govts. could cut property taxes in exchange of lower rents for tenants, or payment plans to make up what tenants are short?  Maybe the feds could give landlords a tax break if they can demonstrate lowering of rents or forgiveness of rent?

 
 
 
Ender
3.3.12  Ender  replied to  Texan1211 @3.3.8    one week ago
I don't see JCPenney surviving this

Ackk!  I actually hated to use them as an example because I really like them. I can always find decent clothes at a decent price and have shopped with them online for a lot of home goods. Helps that I have credit with them.  Haha

Really would be upset to lose them.

 
 
 
Texan1211
3.3.13  Texan1211  replied to  Ender @3.3.12    one week ago
Ackk!  I actually hated to use them as an example because I really like them. I can always find decent clothes at a decent price and have shopped with them online for a lot of home goods. Helps that I have credit with them.  Haha
Really would be upset to lose them.

I think Penney's days were numbered with or without this happening.

Shame, though.

Penney's and Sears were THE stores for most of my childhood.

Too much competition, bad management, and not adjusting their business models fast enough to stay current.

My folks swore by Sears--especially Craftsman tools and Kenmore appliances.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
3.3.14  sandy-2021492  replied to  Texan1211 @3.3.13    one week ago

Used to be, my Mom wouldn't buy any appliance that wasn't a Kenmore.  And she rarely needed a new appliance.  She has a freezer that's at least 30 years old and still works like new.  Kenmore.

I thought it was ironic that Sears couldn't handle the transition to web-based sales.  It should have been a return to their roots, just with websites instead of catalogues.

I'll hate to see Penney's close.  They're the only place I can find women's t-shirts that are cute, reasonably priced, and not so thin that they lose their shape after one wash.  The move toward fast fashion sucks.

 
 
 
Ender
3.3.15  Ender  replied to  sandy-2021492 @3.3.14    one week ago

I like them for similar reasons. Better quality clothes at a reasonable price. Plus they always have some sort of sale or coupons. Buy one get one for a penny, etc.

They have their own brands that I like too, like Arizona.

I think they have been surviving because of more of an online presence. Take that away and any gains they have made will be gone.

When I was a kid we use to look at the Sears catalog and pick out toys that we liked for Christmas.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
3.3.16  sandy-2021492  replied to  Ender @3.3.15    one week ago

St. John's Bay is one of their house brands for women.  Nothing fancy or especially trendy, but they have basic items like blouses and khakis.  I have some t-shirts that have lasted for 7 or 8 years.  Nothing else holds up like that anymore.

 
 
Loading...
Loading...

Who is online

Donald J. Trump Fan #1
shona1
Freewill


67 visitors