As unemployment rises, thousands have lined up at food banks across the country, making it feel more and more like the Great Depression. Meanwhile, some protestors call for the end of the restrictions, while social distancing continues to be crucial. This week’s “5 Essential Updates” includes how the virus impacts our Democracy, our food system, and shared art. 

1. As millions go hungry, farmers destroy food — Across the country, millions are lining up outside food banks, hoping to feed their families. Some banks simply “can’t feed this many people.” Yolanda Benavides, a 63-year-old woman from San Antonio who cares for four grandchildren and was recently laid off and in line and said “I’ve always given, and now we are on the other side.” An unfortunate irony is that in the wake of nation-wide hunger, farmers are dumping thousands of gallons of milk, and destroying vegetables and food.

2. Mail-in ballots = democracy — Crowded lines are not ideal in the middle of a pandemic, that’s why advocates and politicians want voting alternatives for the national election. One reason Latinos don’t vote is because of long lines and other kinds of voter suppression, and mail-in ballots could lead to higher voter turnout.

3. Internet becomes a necessity — As the country goes digital, communities of color are most affected by lack of technology and internet, which has become a critical part of life as people move online for work and school. But only 57% of Latinos have computers at home, compared to 82% of white households. 

4. ‘La cultura cura’ — One positive aspect of this quarantine is free art online. Check out the “Covid Art Museum” Instagram, a platform dedicated to coronavirus art from around the globe. Poet Melissa Lozada-Oliva’s curated platform “QuarenDreams” is another art space. If you enjoy live performance, you won’t want to miss the English National Ballet’s “Frida Kahlo – Broken Wings,” streaming online for free. 

5. Coronavirus Food Safety — Did you know that expiration dates on cans don’t have anything to do with safety? When it comes to family health, there’s nothing more important than our food. Learn how to keep your food safe by freezing food, disinfecting food, and understanding which past-due expiration dates are still safe to eat. 

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Luna Olavarría Gallegos (she/her/hers) is a Content Writer for Pulso. She's a storyteller working at the intersections of culture and global politics, and has been published in The Guardian, The FADER and Remezcla. Based in New York, she’s originally from a bicultural home in New Mexico. 📧: [email protected]