A report out today says that unemployment claims jumped to a whopping 3.2 million in one week due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For a perspective on that number, during the 2007-2008 financial crisis, unemployment claims never exceeded 680 thousand.
What started as a health crisis has quickly turned into a financial crisis. Everyday businesses are shutting down, laying off and furloughing workers and having a major impact on the lives of so many around the world, across the country and right here in our community. People, who up to a couple weeks ago, thought they had job security are now in need of food assistance.
Ulster County's joint effort with the United Way, Project Resilience, is a new county wide initiative helping residence newly in need, get the support they need.
Two area businesses just joined the ranks of those that are pitching in to help people newly in need as a result of corona virus related layoffs and closures. At Milton, NY’s Buttermilk Falls Inn + Spa it’s a matter of taking care of their own. General Manager CJ Hartwell-Kelly is working with the Hudson Valley Food Bank to secure bulk goods, which she goes and picks up, and then divides the food up into parcels, in which she includes a dozen fresh eggs laid by the property’s flock of heritage chickens for now furloughed employees.
Down the road at Frida’s Bakery & Café (which is open for take-out and delivery), owner Bob Pollock (also the owner of Buttermilk Falls Inn + Spa) has committed to an Ulster County / United Way program to supply 50 – 100 meals three times a week that are distributed to the long-term indigent for whom traditional food resources may no longer be available, as well as to the newly in need. Yesterday’s meal was “more than a quarter grilled chicken with roasted potatoes and asparagus” along with some of Frida’s highly acclaimed bread. He reports he had to get all new plastic packaging, as opposed to Frida’s normal eco-friendly cardboard, because the plastic works better for reheating for in microwaves of for keeping it in a refrigerator.
For more on Project Resilience, go to https://bit.ly/3an0rxt