It’s been six weeks since the termination of the $600 per week Pandemic Unemployment Insurance that kept millions of workers who lost their jobs afloat in the early months of the COVID-19 crisis. Right now it is critical for the House, Senate and White House to come together on legislation that continues that funding and meets other urgent pandemic-related needs.
Why do we need comprehensive federal assistance now?
Twenty-nine million Americans have lost their jobs and their income. In Massachusetts, about 1 million are out of work. In a small measure of relief, a FEMA disaster grant is providing federal payments totaling $900 per person to many Massachusetts residents receiving state unemployment. But this is short-term assistance.
Twelve percent of American adults — 30 million persons or one in seven households — reported in August that their households did not have enough food. For Black and LatinX families it was 21%. ABCD food pantries have lines stretching for blocks. Feeding America reports that one in 10 Massachusetts children go to bed hungry every night.
Millions of families are worried about being evicted from their homes. A federal moratorium keeps them safe until Dec. 31, but then what?