As demand increases in soup kitchens and soup kitchens, many have no choice but to reject some of them, according to a report released Wednesday.
Comes the day before Thanksgiving and the day after the Dow Jones Industrial Average
reach a 30,000 points milestoneThe Hunger Free America survey of emergency food providers is a reminder that – as an economy slowly getting better – life has become more difficult for many Americans because of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rampage.
“They are just shocked by the magnitude of what they are getting into.”
The new report also arrives about a month before the end of a deadline for financial aid and a national moratorium on evictions that proponents say are turning. important safety net.
The report by the national non-profit organization also adds context to the photo of the food distribution channels snaking around various places including Bloomington, Ind., Houston, Texas, Costa Mesa, California and elsewhere, and raises the specter of a K-shaped economic recovery as different parts of the economy – particularly Wall Street and Main Street – regain strength at different rates and at different times.
Hunger Free America’s national survey of 154 soup kitchens and soup kitchens reveals:
• 22.5% of this year’s program had to refuse people, reduce food quantities or cut distribution hours. Last year, 4.8% of programs had to take these steps.
• 11.2% of programs said they were unable to meet demand this year while seeing a 14.6% increase in the number of people served.
• These programs are successful with fewer people. More than 70% experienced a reduction in staff and volunteers due to the pandemic.
Nothing found should surprise Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America – except how quickly the need for food spread. “It validates that this is what we saw, this is what we know, this is what we hope for,” he said, noting that America had a hunger problem even before COVID-19 hit.
Nearly 21% of survey respondents were based in the Northeast, another 21% in the Midwest. 35% of survey participants were in the south and 23% in the west.
Other hunger advocacy organizations see a similar pattern: 50 million people now live in food-insecure households, according to projections from Feeding America. That’s an increase of 35 million people United States Department of Agriculture is thought to be in the same condition last year. What’s more, 60% of the food banks in the Feeding America network see an increase in demand year over year, the organization said last week.
US Census Bureau data also shows expanding food insecurity: 8.5% of people in early November said they didn’t eat enough last week, up from 7.2% at the end of August, an ongoing survey shows.
Berg heard the tension as he spoke with people running emergency feeding programs. “They were very surprised by the magnitude of what they were getting into,” he told MarketWatch.
“We’re starting to see lots of new families who never thought they would seek help from soup kitchens.”
When these programs turn people away, Berg says it’s mostly a matter of not having enough to eat. “Starvation in America is not about food shortages. It’s a shortage of money to buy food. “The rules apply equally to cash-strapped households and charities trying to provide support, he said.
The report includes quotes from administrators in food programs across the country, such as one from Rhonda Oliver, Virginia-based executive director of Feeding Greene.
“We are starting to see many new families who never thought they would seek help from soup kitchens,” he wrote. “Our middle class is disappearing, and has been since the economy collapsed in 2007. Our current coronavirus crisis has forced many of our ‘middle class’ into a state of being unable to meet their own needs.”
The kitchen has ample food supplies for now, but Oliver said he is concerned about future food quantities “if our current situation continues.”
Although talk of other stimulus has stalled, Berg said additional government money for food stamps and other social services would be helpful because government financial assistance could provide more provision than food banks, kitchens and soup kitchens.
From March to July, money paid in 22 states for federal food stamps, known as the Supplementary Nutritional Assistance Program, rose to $ 4.4 billion from $ 3 billion, said the Hunger Free America report. Over the same time period, the number of cases in 33 states increased by 14%, the report added.
“We champion volunteers and people around the charity, and they give a big role and they are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met,” said Berg.
But some of the “greatest unknown hunger heroes in America are regular employees at the state, county, and city levels who have done an extraordinary job of dramatically increasing participation in government programs in just a few months.”