COVID-19

Food pantries offer food and community safely this Thanksgiving

Kristin Schwab Nov 26, 2020
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Demand at soup kitchens has grown so much during the pandemic that serving into the night is the only way to get food to everyone safely. Spencer Platt/Getty Images
COVID-19

Food pantries offer food and community safely this Thanksgiving

Kristin Schwab Nov 26, 2020
Heard on:
Demand at soup kitchens has grown so much during the pandemic that serving into the night is the only way to get food to everyone safely. Spencer Platt/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
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Every year, community kitchens and shelters feed millions of Americans, many of them homeless, on Thanksgiving. This year, the need will be even greater, and it will stretch far beyond Thanksgiving.

Feeding America says 1 in 6 people will experience food insecurity by the end of the year. Organizations in New York City are working to safely provide both food and comfort this holiday.

Masbia Soup Kitchen Network has three locations in Brooklyn and Queens, and they’re now serving meals 24 hours a day, five days a week.

“It’s just so sad that people can be so dire that, 3 a.m., if that’s the slot that they can get, that’s the slot they’ll take,” said Alexander Rapaport, executive director of the soup kitchen network.

Rapaport said demand has grown so much during the pandemic that serving into the night is the only way to get food to everyone safely. That includes Thanksgiving. And, there are other changes.

“People used to come in and have like a restaurant. But now it’s all to-go,” Rapaport said.

The Bowery Mission in Manhattan is also dishing up turkey dinner to-go, with a side of face masks. And there’ll be tables outside with music and decorations.

“People gather around the table and have conversations with perfect strangers. So we’re hoping some of that happens on Thanksgiving Day in a safe way,” said James Winans, president and CEO of the mission.

Because these aren’t just places to get a hot meal. They’re communities for people who may not have them.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

Millions of Americans are unemployed, but businesses say they are having trouble hiring. Why?

This economic crisis is unusual compared to traditional recessions, according to Daniel Zhao, senior economist with Glassdoor. “Many workers are still sitting out of the labor force because of health concerns or child care needs, and that makes it tough to find workers regardless of what you’re doing with wages or benefits,” Zhao said. “An extra dollar an hour isn’t going to make a cashier with preexisting conditions feel that it’s safe to return to work.” This can be seen in the restaurant industry: Some workers have quit or are reluctant to apply because of COVID-19 concerns, low pay, meager benefits and the stress that comes with a fast-paced, demanding job. Restaurants have been willing to offer signing bonuses and temporary wage increases. One McDonald’s is even paying people $50 just to interview.

Could waiving patents increase the global supply of COVID-19 vaccines?

India and South Africa have introduced a proposal to temporarily suspend patents on COVID-19 vaccines. Backers of the plan say it would increase the supply of vaccines around the world by allowing more countries to produce them. Skeptics say it’s not that simple. There’s now enough supply in the U.S that any adult who wants a shot should be able to get one soon. That reality is years away for most other countries. More than 100 countries have backed the proposal to temporarily waive COVID-19 vaccine patents. The U.S isn’t one of them, but the White House has said it’s considering the idea.

Can businesses deny you entry if you don’t have a vaccine passport?

As more Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the economy begins reopening, some businesses are requiring proof of vaccination to enter their premises. The concept of a vaccine passport has raised ethical questions about data privacy and potential discrimination against the unvaccinated. However, legal experts say businesses have the right to deny entrance to those who can’t show proof.

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