Getting through the global pandemic over the past year and a half has been pretty hard on all of us, but those facing hardships to the level of severe hunger had it particularly rough to say the least.
From head of households left unemployed with no way of putting food on the table to students in the free lunch program lacking daily meals due to the new remote learning model, the U.S. government officially reported that Latino and Black families facing food insecurity rose substantially in 2020.
Even with the government’s billions of dollars spent on federal aid programs, allowing 20% of Americans to receive charitable food assistance in 2020, it still wasn’t enough to avoid more than one in four Black households with children going hungry during some point in 2020, or the more than one in five Latino families that also had to skip a meal or experience food shortages overall.
Take a look at a breakdown of the numbers below, and one key factor that could make things worse according to the original report on Reuters:
“In response to the crisis, the USDA spent $4 billion on food for food banks in 2020, which served 60 million people last year, a 50% increase compared to 2019, according to Feeding America.
In 2020, the USDA also spent 20 times more than it normally does to provide school meals to students, regardless of income.
But as expanded unemployment benefits ended for all Americans on Sept. 4, some food providers fear the safety net is being removed too quickly.”
‘We know many of these interventions are only temporary. There were tens of millions of people who needed help before the pandemic, and there are still tens of millions of people who need our help today,’ said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America in a Sept. 1 press release.”
As it’s still a bit confusing to determine whether we’re close to being out the woods in regards to this pandemic, now is the perfect time to educate yourself on how to help in the fight against hunger. Read up more on how to better understand food insecurity by heading over to Feeding America.
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