Hartford families facing economic uncertainty are waiting on federal government to step up

Coronavirus

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Wearing masks and heavy winter jackets, the student and parent pick up line wrapped around Burr Elementary School in Hartford. This is one of 16 sites where families are picking up computers for online learning.

However, only the older kids get computers because there aren’t enough to go around.

Geisha Ayuso is a single mom from Hartford with several kids from second to fifth grade. Ayuso said it’s important for them to be in school and not forget about their studies — which is why she waited in line in the snow for a computer.

Hartford Public Schools has 10,000 devices, but there are 19,000 students.

Ayuso said she’s lucky her kids are older and a priority for devices. “It’s five kids in the home; we are trying to live day by day.”

She’s not alone. John Sanchez has a pre-K student with autism. He was waiting for a homework packet and was able to grab her food at the same site.

“It’s cooked meals, pizza, French fries…all the lunch they give to the schools,” he explained of his daughter’s meal.

Many waiting told News 8 it is very important the federal government act soon. They say that stimulus money that could be sent to families is really a lifeline.

“The little bit that the government can provide for us, believe me, it’s going to be a lot of help,” Sanchez said.

The federal government could send $1,000 or more to qualifying families.

Ayuso is on SNAP — the supplemental nutrition assistance program — and said the money would really help her family.

“It’s almost the end of the month,” she said. “So no food stamps, so you have to buy with cash and bring it back home so the kids can eat and stuff.”

Public school families can get food Monday, Wednesday and Friday at neighborhood school sites, which are posted online.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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