Repercussions of Nemo on Homeless

With Blizzard Nemo bearing down on the Northeast United States, Americans flocked to grocery stores and supermarkets to stock up on food and water for the indefinite future. However, there was one group of economically disadvantaged people who had no refuge amidst the storm: the homeless. Shelters and food pantries would be unable to serve thousands during this devastating storm, and the at-risk homeless population’s already unreliable access to food was even more uncertain. Furthermore, many homeless people from Boston to New York City found themselves in grave, life-threatening danger, some with nothing more than a tent to protect them from the harsh elements. The city of Boston undertook precautions prior to the storm, by stretching their quota of 1,340 beds to accommodate any at risk Bostonians (http://bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/02/08/city-pushes-bring-homeless-into-shelters-for-blizzard/PF0zNf8wHfYkmKa9vz0j5L/story.html). The Salvation Army and the city of Boston prepared emergency relief units to respond with food, however it is difficult to account for an entire population during emergency time. The impact of a storm such as this one is witnessed beyond the homeless, but through all socio-economic classes. Many lower or lower middle-class Americans struggle to maintain a steady food supply on a daily basis, and during trying times such as a blizzard or Hurricane, this economic gap becomes even more evident and glaring. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 17 percent of Americans—more than 50 million people—live in households that are “food insecure,” a term that means a “family sometimes runs out of money to buy food, or it sometimes runs out of food before it can get more money (http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2010/11/22/what-food-says-about-class-in-america.html.)”  The issue of providing affordable produce on a national scale should be a primary legislative concern, and storms such as these should bring about many improvements for the under-privileged. The long-lasting effects of Nemo should not be glossed over, and in fact, many food shortage and access problems do not truly begin until a disaster is over. It is important to reach out to local communities by either donating your food or your time. 

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