“Michigan winters aren’t the greatest, which means that heating bills are going up and on top of that, there are people working or learning from home, so their heating bills are increasing as well,” said Stacy Averill, vice president of community giving at Gleaners. “All of those things are coming together now and bringing additional anxiety to households as they try to navigate trying to put food on the table.”
In Cleveland, people were lining up on Saturday outside of a house in the city’s trendy Ohio City neighborhood to get donated toys for their young relatives. The house serves as a food pantry for most of the year, but doubles as a toy center during the Christmas season.
Among those putting her name on the list for toys was a retiree who said she was looking out for her grandchildren. “I’ve never had to get Christmas toys for free like this,” she said. “Sometimes you have to swallow your pride.”
The woman said a $600 check could help her family stay afloat. “Right now, we are trying to live month-to-month, and a little bit more money might help us get to the next month,” she said.
David Caron, 22, recently got a job at a J. Crew store in Boston after working part time for DoorDash, the delivery service, and receiving some unemployment payments. He said a stimulus check of $600 would not be nearly enough to help him recover from the pandemic’s toll.
“We bail out companies and corporations all the time,” a frustrated Mr. Caron said on Saturday. “When it comes to helping the individual, we are left to hang dry.”
Carly Stern reported from San Francisco, and Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs from Aurora, N.Y. Reporting was contributed by Daniel McGraw from Cleveland, Maria Jimenez Moya from Boston, David Montgomery from Austin, Texas, and Kathleen Gray from West Bloomfield, Mich.