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Empty plates at Thanksgiving

Bloomberg Equality
Bloomberg

This week's top headlines:

  • President-elect Joe Biden plans to nominate former Fed Chair Janet Yellen to serve as Treasury secretary, choosing the first woman and a seasoned central banker for the U.S.'s top economic policy job.
  • Macy's Inc. plans to devote more shelf space to Black-owned brands, becoming one of the most prominent names to join the 15 Percent Pledge movement for racial equity in the retail world.
  • In the U.K., a public watchdog found that the British government's immigration policies broke its own equality laws in its treatments of Black immigrants.

Millions of people across the U.S. will tuck into roast turkey and mashed potatoes followed by slices of pecan and pumpkin pie on Thursday as the country celebrates the Thanksgiving holiday.

But for many in the land of milk and honey – so dubbed by the immigrants who came to America's shores looking for opportunity – having enough food has been a real struggle this year, with the recent coronavirus resurgence only making things worse.

Hunger, or food insecurity, ticked up markedly during the pandemic and has been rising again in the past few weeks as renewed shutdowns lead to more unemployment and lost income.

Before the pandemic, 18% of Black Americans reported sometimes or often not having enough to eat, compared to 6% of White Americans. That number has surged to 22% now for Black Americans and 8.8% for White Americans, according to the Census Bureau.

Although the U.S. introduced several programs to tackle food insecurity during the pandemic, including one where the government bought food from farmers and sent it to nonprofits for distribution to those in need, many are set to expire at the end of the year, if they haven't already.

Pointing to their effectiveness, researchers are calling on the government to do more to bolster these programs.

Lawmakers in Congress haven't been able to pass another stimulus bill, however, and prospects for one before the end of the year look dim. Americans who may not have a turkey on the table this week might potentially go without one at Christmas as well.

By the Numbers

Homophobia is a powerful political tool in Poland, a country that's turned into one of Europe's most socially regressive.

Five of 16 provinces and more than 80 towns and cities have declared themselves free of LGBTQ "ideology" or passed resolutions aimed against sexual minorities. 

 

Before You Go

  • Latinos turned out in big numbers for President Donald Trump on Nov. 3, and of all the election-night surprises, this may have been the greatest. A precinct-by-precinct examination of three key counties reveals the magnitude of the shift in the Latino vote.

  • The pandemic has hit women worldwide with job losses and closures of childcare centers. Yet a surprising bright spot is emerging: India's $200 billion tech services industry, where new rules are expected to offer female workers more flexibility and fresh job opportunities.

  • Andrew Young, Michael Render (aka "Killer Mike") and Ryan Glover are starting a new type of banking platform focused on Black and Latino communities. Almost 175,000 prospective customers have joined a waiting list for the Atlanta-based Greenwood, which plans to open in January. 
     

 

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