The news is out: [As tens of millions of Americans have lost jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic, food banks across the country say they are facing an unprecedented surge in demand, comparable to a hurricane hitting the entire country at the same time.
“I’ve been in food banking for 24 years, and in my tenure I’ve never seen such a dramatic increase in need literally overnight,” said Lisa Scales of the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, referring to the initial spike in distribution in March, when the shutdowns started.
Across the country, Americans who’ve never had to rely on food assistance before are turning to local organizations for aid. In July, the Census Bureau reported that nearly 30 million Americans said they didn’t have enough to eat in the prior week, a situation that is likely to worsen since the expanded unemployment insurance of $600 per week ended last month. Food banks across the country are bracing for both another spike in food insecurity and the fact that the effects of the pandemic are likely to last until 2021 and beyond.
A number of food bank employees compared the current situation to the Great Recession of the late 2000s in terms of both length of need and impact, as the normal practice of turning to other parts of the country for support in times of a natural disaster failed in the face of a nationwide calamity.]
In my books, I lamented the plight of children going to bed hungry in the US, every single night. During the first week of July 2020, the number of households with children that reported not having enough to eat was 13,570,374, according to an analysis of U.S. census data by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Council on Contemporary Families. Before March 13, the day the federal government declared a national emergency, the number was 12,046,456. We are talking about 14 million families which cannot feed their kids.
Now with the coronavirus in full swing in the US, we can add more people going hungry in the land of plenty. 38% of Americans think it’s dandy. Trump is doing a great job. It is what it is.