Just because you’re self-isolating doesn’t mean you can’t show some kindness to your neighbors. In the age of coronavirus, that means helping to decrease demand and thin out crowds. For New Yorkers who are on food assistance programs, like SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children), it’s important that they can get what they need when their benefits re-up at the beginning of each month.
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer wrote:
If you are able, please avoid grocery shopping in the next few days and make space for our neighbors who are on SNAP and WIC to buy food. The beginning of the month is when many public assistance benefits come in; with children staying home, families’ food supplies may have depleted more quickly, making grocery shopping at the start of the new month a necessity rather than a preference.
One in eight New Yorkers cannot afford enough food. And that was before the pandemic. So if you can hold off on going to the grocery store to give these New Yorkers a chance to use their benefits for what they need, that’s one of the best things you can do right now.
Plus, holding out on going to the store is good for you. Not only do more infrequent visits to the shops decrease your own exposure, it also can inspire some culinary creativity. Or, if you’re not feeling like innovating, try ordering out from some of your neighborhood restaurants. They could really use the support.
We may all be missing those quotidian, in-person kindnesses these days — that smile and nod, the pleasure of holding the door for the person behind you — but we can still help each other out.