For over 40 years, Feeding America has responded to the hunger crisis in America by providing food to people in need through a nationwide network of 200 food banks. Our mission feeds over 40 million people annually, including adults, children, and seniors.
When Covid-19 started to spread across our nation, it presented our network with increased demand, declines in food donations, disruptions in distribution models, and a decrease in volunteerism support. As people are paying higher prices for their groceries and likely dealing with job and/or income loss, they are facing tougher decisions to purchase food.
This has resulted in a 60% surge in the number of people seeking charitable food assistance, an estimated 54 million individuals facing hardship, and 8 billion additional meals needed to meet this ongoing demand. Many Americans were put into challenging positions, some of which are turning to food banks for the very first time.
Through resiliency and support from respected donors such as Compass Group, we have sourced a historic number of meals during the pandemic. Our mission has also been fortunate to receive aid from the National Guard who responded to serve the community when our volunteer programs were adversely impacted by stay-at-home measures.
With a future so uncertain, more and more families may have to turn to our mission to feed their families in the coming months. So how can you help during the holidays and even year-round?
- Volunteer – Anyone who is healthy can give the gift time at a local food bank, you can find the closest location by visiting this link to help with food distributions and other critical activities.
- Give Financially – No amount is too small. Even a $1 will provide 10 meals to families in need.
- Be Kind and Have Empathy – You never know who might be struggling, check on your neighbors and friends. Hunger tends to be closer than most of us think.
To learn more visit https://www.feedingamerica.org/.
Written by Pooja Pelham. Pooja Pelham is the Senior Manager of Food Industry Partnerships with Feeding America and has been a “hunger fighter” for nearly 7 years.