At the outset of the pandemic, food banks nationwide suffered a “triple whammy”. There was an unprecedented demand for food assistance, a dramatic decline in food donations, and a need to adapt our distribution model due to shortage of volunteers overnight. It truly was the perfect storm.
Things got worse
Before the pandemic, 37 million Americans were thought to be food-insecure. Today, researchers estimate that there could be as many as 54 million people at risk of hunger in the United States in 2020 — a 46 percent increase. This includes 1 in 4 children, who may be at greater risk for health, social, and behavioral challenges as a result.
That’s why the Feeding America network of 200 food banks has worked tirelessly to innovate and address this crisis, to help ensure adults and children facing hunger have the food they need. With support from the public, non-profits, faith-based organizations, private industries, federal, state, and local government agencies, food banks — despite these challenges
— distributed over 1.3 billion meals to people facing hunger in America in the first four months.
And while we are thrilled to have made these gains, the scale of the challenge ahead of us is enormous. Food banks need support now more than ever.
A month to combat hunger
That’s why, for the 13th year in a row, Feeding America is designating September as Hunger Action Month to raise awareness and inspire people to take action in the fight to end hunger. Our 2020 campaign theme, “End Hunger One Helping at a Time,” is a play on the word “helping” to encourage action, whether you are helping by volunteering, donating, spreading awareness on social media, or sharing a ”helping” of food with a neighbor in need. Together, we can help ensure people facing hunger have access to the food and nutrition they need to live a healthy life — during this pandemic and beyond.