The coronavirus pandemic has been the source of heartache and uncertainty for millions of families across the country; however, the pandemic also amplified the problem of hunger in America. The lack of food and resources available to those who struggle with hunger has always been an issue in America. Families living paycheck to paycheck struggle with the decision to put food on the table or pay their bills. The pandemic brought to light this previously forgotten issue. With individuals losing their jobs at unprecedented rates, families had to turn toward systems that were overrun with need. These food pantries that previously served fractions of communities were now overwhelmed with the demand. The coronavirus pandemic instigated an extreme deficit of food and volunteers available to food pantries that were grappling with unprecedented need.
The coronavirus pandemic magnified the ongoing problem of a lack of food and resources available to needy Americans. Cohen states, “The newly hungry have similar stories: Their industry collapsed, they lost a job, their hours were cut, and opportunity fell through because of illness.” Covid is the common source to blame for these struggling families. The pandemic ruined some aspect of their lives and families are now dealing with the effects. One of these effects is how to provide nutritional meals for their families. Individuals are turning toward food pantries that were never intended to handle a nationwide crisis. Feeding America, the nation’s largest anti-hunger organization, “has seen a 60 percent increase in food bank users during the pandemic: about 4 in 10 are first-timers” (Cohen). Food pantries are experiencing record numbers of families requesting help. Many of these families are first-time users; overwhelming the supply chain. These non-profit organizations are struggling to keep up with the demand. The New York Times article states, “Demand for food assistance is rising at an extraordinary rate, just as the nation’s food banks are being struck by shortages of both donated food and volunteer workers” (Kulish). Individuals are struggling to provide for their own families, which leads to a lack of donations and volunteers at food pantries. Food pantries are run mainly by generous donations and volunteer workers. Food pantries are struggling with the lack of help and are navigating the extreme demand. The coronavirus pandemic has left families desperate for aid and food pantries overwhelmed with the extreme demand.
Cohen, Sharon. “Millions of Hungry Americans Turn to Food Banks for 1st Time.” AP News, Associated Press, 7 Dec. 2020, https://apnews.com/article/race-and-ethnicity-hunger-coronavirus-pandemic-4c7f1705c6d8ef5bac241e6cc8e331bb. Accessed 12 Feb. 2021.
Kulish, Nicholas. “Never Seen Anything Like It’:Cars Line Up for Miles at Food Banks.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 8 Apr. 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/08/business/economy/coronavirus-food-banks.html. Accessed 12 Feb. 2021.