Food banks face growing hunger crisis ahead of the holidays during the pandemic


By ABC News(NEW YORK) — Food banks have seen a spike in demand since the pandemic struck. In communities across the country, millions of Americans — even those who are employed — are becoming more food insecure. A report issued last month by the nonprofit Feeding America found that 50.4 million Americans have been identified as food insecure, defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as “a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life.” In 2018, the organization said that 37.2 million Americans were food insecure.Here’s a look at how food insecurity is changing in some states:FloridaWith the approach of Thanksgiving, thousands of families in the Orlando area are in need of food assistance due to COVID-19-related layoffs in the tourist industry and the expiration of supplemental federal unemployment benefits.TexasOver 5,000 families received holiday food items during the event that took place in a parking lot outside AT&T Stadium in Austin, Texas.IowaThe food distribution was organized by Urban Dreams, a community empowerment NGO in central Des Moines, Iowa, and the NAACP. The Food Bank of Iowa said food insecurity in Des Moines has doubled since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.MassachusettsBefore the COVID-19 pandemic, The Salvation Army’s food pantry at Manning Field in Lynn, Massachusetts, served an average of 60 families a day. That number has increased to over 600 families daily as more residents face financial hardship and food insecurity.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.