During the week of Thanksgiving, food banks all over the United States saw overwhelming lines at their doors with families struggling to get some food and help during this special holiday.
The Rhode Island Community Food Bank reported that there was an estimation of about 1 in 4 households in their state alone that was experiencing food insecurity. Food banks in that area saw a 26% increase in demand in 2020.
The executive director of the food bank told The Providence Journal “I don’t think were going to get through this unless Congress approves another COVID-19 relief bill.”
According to The Hill, the North Texas Food Bank told the Dallas Morning News that they gave away a rough estimate of 8,500 meals, which is 1,000 more of a regular year. There were also reports saying that people were waiting in line for over five hours in some food banks.
CEO of the food bank, Trisha Cunningham said “we know that people need food or they wouldn’t be in line. We want to make sure anyone that needs food has access to it.”
Record-setting numbers of people needing food and assistance were also reported in places like California, New Jersey and other areas in between. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic that has crippled almost every country in the world, there are millions that have lost their jobs and only a few places to turn to for help.
Up to this date, unemployment continues rising throughout the country. In the last month alone, the US Department of Labor reported 751,000 new claims for the week ending in 10/24. Insured unemployment was at 7,756,000. It is important to take note that the official unemployment numbers only represent a fraction of the market. There are many others who worked in the informal economy or likewise do not have access to unemployment benefits that aren’t included in these numbers.
EVP and COO of Feeding America, Katie Fitzgerald said that there has been a huge surge in demand since the pandemic and lockdown rules started. She said that “this year is especially hard, because of course we are seeing consistent surge in demand at Feeding America food banks all across the nation.”
In some areas, food banks have been extremely overwhelmed with the number of people and are running low on donations with the demand they are faced with.
If you are interested in helping or contributing to your local food bank, Feeding America has a nationwide list that is searchable by zip code. You can donate cash, holiday food items, or your time.
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