Dear Editor: As coronavirus spreads, people are taking measures to protect themselves. During this outbreak, low-income families are the hardest hit.
During an emergency, people stock up on bottled water, toilet paper, canned food, etc. Reportedly, many stores are running out of these items, suggesting that people are panicking.
Low-income families would find this situation very challenging. Those with sufficient disposable income and savings could stock up on weeks, and possibly months, of supplies. They would likely have adequate storage space to keep them, and have more economic security through hard times.
People who are financially challenged would have the same needs for essential items, but much less likely to be able to purchase them in bulk. The difficulties would be greater for low-income households with frail seniors, children or individuals with chronic health needs.
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America has significant safety net programs, such as Medicaid and food stamp, for people with severe financial or medical needs. However, no government program would be able to meet the special needs arising as a result of this outbreak.
Therefore, as we prepare to protect ourselves from coronavirus, we must also be generous to individuals and families in need, around us.
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