Amid the pandemic, many people are experiencing food insecurity, meaning that they face uncertain or limited access to food to support a healthy life. In order for a family of four to be classified as food insecure, they must earn a combined income of $25,000 a year.
Shockingly, in the United States today, children are more likely to be affected by food insecurity than any other age group. The Covid-19 crisis has left millions of breadwinners without stable employment, exacerbating food insecurity in underprivileged demographics.
Due to the economic consequences of the Covid-19 crisis, food poverty has risen significantly across the country in recent months, increasing from 35 million Americans immediately preceding the pandemic to 50 million today, including 17 million children.
Nonprofits created to support people experiencing food poverty have witnessed an overwhelming surge in demand in recent months. Combined with the impact of social distancing policies and stay-at-home orders, the economic crisis has placed unprecedented pressure on American food banks, many of which have experienced a rapid decrease in funding at the very moment when they are needed the most.
Nevertheless, nonprofits across the nation have committed to continue delivering services in order to help individuals and families in need, while simultaneously keeping clients, volunteers, and staff safe. In the following, we examine five of these organizations.
Second Harvest of Silicon Valley
Since 1974, Second Harvest of Silicon Valley has sought to build a hunger-free community. The organization leverages every available resource to deliver nutritious meals and food parcels to local neighborhoods.
Created in the belief that hunger is simply unacceptable in the United States in this day and age, Second Harvest collaborates with more than 300 nonprofit partners, delivering food to 500,000 adults, seniors, and children through a comprehensive network of walk-up and drive-through sites across San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.
No Kid Hungry
Unlike many countries around the world, the United States benefits from an abundance of healthy and nutritious food. The problem is that not all children can access it.
No Kid Hungry strives to provide a child nutrition programs that works. From school breakfast programs and summer and afterschool meals, to food skills education, research, and policy, the mission of No Kid Hungry is to not only eradicate hunger among American children, but to steer families toward nutritious food choices that are healthier and more satisfying.
In America and around the world, hunger is caused by a complex fusion of social and economic factors. The coronavirus pandemic has produced yet another layer of difficulty in an already escalating crisis.
By looking at communities hit hardest by both hunger and the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, it is important to recognize that food insecurity affects various demographics in different ways. According to data gathered by WhyHunger, food insecurity triggered by the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic has affected minorities, women, and children disproportionately in comparison with other demographics.
WhyHunger points to social injustices as a direct cause of hunger and poverty. Partnering with allies across the globe, WhyHunger seeks to transform systems that simply are not working, to end hunger, and to protect everyone’s fundamental right to a healthy and nutritious diet.
The Feeding America network is the largest domestic hunger-relief organization in the United States today. The organization works hand in hand with the government, other charities, businesses, and individuals with the goal of permanently eradicating hunger in America.
In a nation where billions of dollars in food go to waste every year, it is hard to believe that anyone goes hungry in the United States today. Yet each and every day, millions of adults and children lack access to the nutritious meals they need in order to survive and thrive.
Feeding America works to supply nourishing food, partnering with retailers, manufacturers, and farmers to reach people in need. At the same time, the organization aims to set its clients on the path toward a happier and more food-secure future.
Families that struggle with food insecurity often struggle to meet other basic needs, too, such as housing, health care, employment, and more. Feeding America provides those demographics that are most in need with a network of food banks. In addition, it tackles the root causes of hunger, providing families with long-term solutions to help them address socioeconomic challenges.
Meals on Wheels America
Meals on Wheels America supports seniors, delivering nutritious meals to America’s most vulnerable demographic in regards to Covid-19. Local Meals on Wheels programs deliver frontline services, enabling the nation’s seniors to stay safe and nourished at home.
Operating in virtually every community in the US, Meals on Wheels benefits from an extensive network comprised of more than 5,000 independently run local programs. While the operations and services vary based on resources and needs in the local community, all of the programs are committed to supporting seniors. Focused on delivering healthy and nutritious meals, they seek to enable seniors to live safe, happy, and independent lives.