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Food Insecurity and the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has far-reaching effects beyond those who are infected by the new virus. The near-total shutdown of the economy has led to mass unemployment, as well as new costs for those suddenly stuck at home with their entire families. Millions of parents, who relied on free school lunches to help feed their children, have been left struggling to fill extra mouths, a challenge exacerbated by the fact that many of these families have been thrown into precarious unemployment. Food insecurity has existed in American long before COVID-19 hit. It’s estimated that as many as 23 million Americans live in areas termed food deserts, for their lack of access to grocery stores. In 2018, according to the US Department...

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Essential Teacher T-shirt Helps Students Transition to College

195essential is teaming up with Brookline-based Steps to Success to dedicate half of the proceeds of its ‘Essential Teacher’ t-shirt sales to the organization known for promoting equity for students from low-income families by expanding their horizons, building upon their skills, and supporting their educational journey in order to maximize their life choices. One of the many Steps to Success initiatives is to provide much-needed support to students making the transition to college, and ensuring they have the tools necessary for a complete and successful college career from onset through graduation. Part of this initiative is to mail care packages with key supplies necessary to support their college success via its Essential Learning Package fund. With COVID causing the closure...

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Rethinking Essential

Especially at the beginning of the pandemic, showing gratitude to essential workers through nightly celebrations, banners, commercials, and philanthropic efforts have been a globally unifying fortuity. Viral videos of Italians singing from their balconies, Spaniards banging pots, and New Yorkers cheering at the end of hospital shifts created a feeling of a global community--of pride and hope in humankind. The positive wave seemed to continue to grow in the U.S. as people started acknowledging that doctors and nurses aren’t the only essential workers but that janitorial workers, grocery store clerks, and delivery men, people working hourly wage, unglamorous, jobs are just as essential to the daily rhythms of our collective lives.  But, now that the cheering has stopped, a result...

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195essential Collaborates with BAGLY to Celebrate Pride Month

195essential is pledging 30% of the proceeds from their limited-edition Pride shirt to BAGLY, Inc, a youth-led, adult-supported social support organization committed to social justice, and creating, sustaining and advocating for programs, policies and services for the LGBTQ+ youth community. The money raised will be used to fund essential services BAGLY has set up to support the LGBTQ+ community during this trying time, along with food, community center supplies, events and programs, outreach, and to support their free health clinic.  For over thirty years, BAGLY’s weekly programming and annual social events have provided safe, supportive, non-exploitative, and culturally competent spaces where LGBTQ+ youth can access social support and services, develop leadership, and build community. Over 3,000 youth ages 22 and...

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