The virus pandemic and resulting recession, crushing millions of households, has produced a new era of hunger nationwide. After seven months of the coronavirus chaos, triggering widespread unemployment and the collapse of small businesses, millions of Americans are going hungry for the first time in their lives ahead of the holiday season.
Tens of millions of Americans have turned to their local food banks as food insecurity spirals out of control. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey from late August, about 10% of adults, 22.3 million, reported they didn’t have enough to eat or lacked food. This figure is up from 18 million in early March.
Now, Feeding America, a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks, serving more than 46 million people, is warning it may experience a massive food shortage within the next twelve months, reported WaPo.
Feeding America said it could face a deficit of “10 billion pound shortfall between now and June of 2021 – the equivalent of 8 billion meals.”
In July, the nonprofit organization “estimated the total need for charitable food over the next year would be an unprecedented 17 billion pounds, more than three times the food bank network’s last annual distribution of 5 billion pounds.”
Rising food insecurity comes as the economy faces a tidal wave of long-term unemployment as millions of people who lost jobs early in the pandemic and remain out of work, unable to find a job, as job losses increasingly become permanent.
At the moment, nearly 4 million jobs have vanished forever. Two problems are developed: rising long-term unemployment and permanent job losses, the combination of the two create deep economic scarring and immense financial pain for households.
The Salvation Army recently launched its annual holiday fundraising campaign early this year, for the first time in 130 years, in a bid to “rescue Christmas” to support those households financially ruined by the economic downturn.
As concerns over economic recovery grow, with a flurry of corporate layoffs in recent weeks, we’ve reminded readers that food bank lines are increasing once again:
- Hawaii Food Bank Sees “Stunning” Increase In Meals Served
- Wisconsin Food Bank Warns: “We’re Not Going Back To Normal Anytime Soon”
- Dramatic Photos: Desperate For Provisions, Thousands Of Cars Line Up At Texas Food Bank
The grim reality is that economic revival touted by President Trump is merely an election campaign mirage of hope that will quickly fade after the elections. The economy is desperately in need of another round of stimulus. The problem with fiscal injections used for consumption is that it’s only a short-term sugar high that ends in a crash if more is not seen.
America’s food insecurity crisis is getting worse, not better, as millions of folks now rely on food banks as the virus-induced recession is will be felt for years.