A lot of America is going hungry.
The coronavirus pandemic has set off a domino effect in the country’s food supply chain that is hurting food banks and pantries in the nation’s largest cities and the millions of newly unemployed Americans who now depend on them.
The latest sign of the food disruption: Grocery prices spiked by the largest amount in nearly 50 years last month because of the shutdown of infected food facilities and higher costs of freight.
“Just about everyone is looking for assistance because the pandemic has hit every kind of person,” said Paula Murphy, a spokesperson for the Houston Food Bank. “We’re serving the clients we served pre-pandemic and we’re serving the clients who never thought they would need to visit a food bank.”
In 2018, 22.2% of U.S. households, or 28.6 million, fell on the food insecurity spectrum at some time, according to the USDA. Nearly the same percentage — 1 in 5 workers — reported that in the last month alone they or their immediate family have gone without food for 24 hours due to a lack of money, according to a recent survey of 1,500 people from Jobvite.
A surge of Americans are also applying for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the federal program formerly known as food stamps, according to an earlier Yahoo Money report, while swelling numbers are seeking assistance at food banks and pantries with the country’s four largest cities all reporting an increase in demand.
Source: Yahoo! Money