Coronavirus Relief for Low-Income Families: Ways to Find Support
The coronavirus crisis has put a huge strain on most families, but the impact of this crisis has hit low-income families especially hard. Before the pandemic, many of these families were already struggling to pay for rent, food, and other basics. Now with the growing number of businesses laying off many low-wage employees, these families find themselves with zero income and a lot of uncertainty about when relief from the crisis will arrive.
If your family is struggling to get through the pandemic, or if you’re simply looking to help families in need during this time, there are ways to take action now and provide coronavirus relief for low-income families. We aren’t able to do anything about the uncertainty during this time, but we can all do our part to make sure all of our families have the stability needed to get us through this crisis.
Help your family with these ideas
If your family needs help with rent, food, medical care, or other expenses right now, there are a few ways to get the support you need. Depending on your situation, you’ll want to pick the best choice for your family and act fast so you can get the help you need as soon as possible.
Find government programs that can help
Government programs are another great way to seek help if your family is in need right now. Through Canada.ca, families can access key information to apply for and receive benefits from some of the following programs:
- Maternity and parental benefits
- Caregiving benefits and leave
- Canada Child Benefit
- Child Disability Benefit
- Manage personal finances
- Having a baby
- Canada Emergency Response Benefit
To ensure you get the help you need, be sure to apply for these programs as early as possible. As the crisis continues, these government agencies may be overwhelmed, so submitting your claim or application as quickly as possible is crucial.
Your family may also be eligible for aid from the recent stimulus package. Find out if you or your family are eligible for help from the stimulus by reading the latest news about the stimulus package and what can be expected from this new government aid.
Start a fundraiser
One of the quickest ways to get financial help is to start a fundraiser. At GoFundMe, fundraising for coronavirus related relief efforts has led to thousands of fundraisers to help those affected by COVID-19. By creating a fundraiser for your family, you can start collecting the funds you need now and receive that money within a matter of days, not weeks. The funds your family may need to pay for rent, utilities, food, or other living expenses are there for you when you need it most.
How to help low-income families during coronavirus
Coronavirus relief for low-income families won’t be a one-size fits all solution, but if you’re looking to help families in need during this crisis, there are a few options for you. Everything from providing toiletries to direct financial assistance is needed right now. Below are some ideas for how you can help low-income families during coronavirus.
1. Provide food
Many low-income families with children rely on or low-cost meals at school to feed their children. Food Secure Canada estimates that almost 2.5 million Canadians live without secure access to food., and this is a number provided before the current crisis. With schools closed and parents out of work, the meals and food children and families would be getting from food banks or schools is no longer getting to them. And with little or no money coming in, buying food to keep families healthy becomes almost impossible.
To do your part to provide food during this time, here are a few things you can do:
Donate to a local food bank
You can find a local food bank by searching on Google for food banks near you or use Food Bank Canada’s food bank locator. Contact the food bank and ask what is needed most right now. With the prevalence of panic buying, food banks have found it difficult to fill their inventory and get support to those who need it most. By donating food items, you can help these organizations keep their shelves stocked for the neediest in your community.
Donate food supplies to local schools that provide meals
Many public schools are already aware that some of their students rely on school meals to get at least one healthy meal a day. However, with schools closed, concern has grown over where these students are getting their meals. For this reason, schools around the country have kept their kitchens open to offer meals to children under and their families.
To help these schools, reach out to them and ask what supplies they need. Even if the local school is not offering hot meals to children, they may still take food donations that can be handed out to families in need.
Ask your grocer if they’re doing anything to support low-income families
Some grocery stores might be putting together bags of donated items to send to people in need, and you can support their efforts by covering the cost of one of these bags when you check out. For example, a bag of food supplies for a family of four could be covered with a donation of $25. If your grocery store doesn’t have this kind of program, share this idea with them and ask how you can help get the program off the ground.
2. Donate to families raising money for coronavirus rent relief and other expenses
If you don’t know a family that you can start a fundraiser for, donating to families in need is another great way to make a real difference. At GoFundMe, you can find families that have been affected by coronavirus and are seeking financial help to support their families through the crisis. By making a direct donation, the impact to these families is almost immediate.
3. Crowdfunding coronavirus relief for low-income families
One of the best ways to support families right now is through crowdfunding. By creating a fundraiser for a family in need, you can rest assured the money they need will arrive quickly and safely.
Start helping low-income families today
If your family is struggling and looking for relief during the coronavirus crisis, fundraising or applying for the right government assistance program can be a lifeline. Starting a fundraiser is easy and only takes a few minutes. For those looking to help families in need, there are a number of ways to provide the support these families need. Whatever your current situation is, acting now is critical to making sure all families are cared for during this stressful time, and thrive long after this is over.