As Stimulus Falls Short, Mutual Aid Organizers Work to Meet People’s Needs

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Source: Truthout

The United States is currently experiencing one of its most intense COVID-19 surges since the pandemic began earlier this year. California, for example, recently ordered 5,000 body bags while ordering refrigerated trucks to be on standby. Despite the slow rollout of a vaccine, we are seeing more and more positive cases, more hospitalizations, and unemployment claims that are rising by their largest amount since last spring. And with only $600 being offered through Congress’s stimulus plan, the future is looking pretty bleak.

Amid all of this, there is a broad movement of grassroots organizations throughout the country that are taking their community’s well-being into their own hands. Mutual aid organizations have been working to provide food, supplies and services to the most vulnerable populations throughout the country.

Mutual aid is an idea and practice that emphasizes working with communities in a horizontal and solidaristic way. And although federal, state and local authorities are playing a modest role in assisting certain groups during these tumultuous times, there are many gaps in service that mutual aid groups have been filling. Undocumented folks, houseless folks and others who are disproportionately impacted by this pandemic, including disabled and incarcerated people, are not getting the assistance that they need.

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