As the pandemic has left millions unemployed or with reduced incomes, the demand at food pantries has soared in 2020.
While there is relief coming for millions of Americans, Feeding America, a consortium of 200 food banks and 60,000 pantries nationwide, say that the stimulus signed by President Donald Trump last night was merely a “down payment.”
Pantries across the US saw a 60% rise in demand in 2020, according to Feeding America.
“As our country continues to weather a once-in-a-generation public health and economic emergency, the bipartisan agreement is an important down payment to help provide the food assistance our neighbors need, but further action will also be necessary in the coming months,” said Kate Leone, chief government relations officer for Feeding America.
The legislation includes $400 million for the Emergency Food Assistance Program, but Leone cautions that more could be needed in the future.
“The bipartisan legislation will provide much-needed short-term relief,” Leone said. “As 2020 ends, we know the need for food assistance will continue. While this legislation is a welcome step forward, the government will need to take further action to ensure that our neighbors do not slip further into crisis in the coming months. We strongly support the nutrition provisions in this bill and believe they are a critical step toward ensuring people have the food they need to learn, succeed, and thrive.”
Before the pandemic began, 1 in 9 Americans were considered “food insecure,” which means those families were at risk at going hungry. That number has since increased to 1 in 6.