Right now, going to sleep with an empty stomach is a tragic reality happening in communities across the United States. As the pandemic moves into its deadliest wave yet and economic relief from the federal government remains up in the air, millions are struggling to stock their pantries and feed their families.
“To be clear, hunger is not a new problem, but COVID-19 has greatly exacerbated food insecurity rates and the social injustices that have long existed at the root of hunger, from systematic racism in the food system to the lack of a living wage,” says Noreen Springstead, executive director at WhyHunger, a national nonprofit organization leading the fight against hunger in the U.S. and around the world.
Springstead reveals that in the institution’s 45-year history, it has never witnessed a hunger crisis of this magnitude.
“This year more than 54 million Americans, including over 18 million children, will struggle with food insecurity,” she says. “That’s a more than 50% increase due to the impact of COVID-19. Poverty is one of the biggest factors of hunger, and with many having lost their jobs in recent months, we have seen hunger spike at alarming rates….