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‘People are going out right now trying to fish and hunt deers because there’s nothing to eat’: In eastern Kentucky, the coronavirus is pushing one cash-strapped family to the edge.

south KY family 4x3

A Kentucky family.

Karen Dugger; Ruobing Su/Business Insider

Nearly 150,000 people live in the three counties surrounding London, Kentucky — Knox, Laurel, and Whitley.

Residents of the former coal-mining hotspot in Appalachia have struggled for years. The coronavirus pandemic is making their lives more challenging yet.

One extended family in the London, Kentucky, area told Business Insider that hunting or fishing were becoming common as grocery standbys such as Walmart, Kroger, and Save A Lot run out of meat.

Even food banks are running low. Some are worried that they will not be able to feed their children.

Experts on poverty and economics say the area points to how institutions across rural America are crumbling — leaving impoverished, isolated people more pressured than ever.

And once the virus itself hits eastern Kentucky, one expert said, “the potential for the devastation and human on life is very high” because of the high likelihood of medical conditions in the region, including black lung, smoking, and diabetes.

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