WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Americans across the nation piled up at food banks to secure food in time for the Thanksgiving holiday amid the coronavirus pandemic.
- Food banks and charities have observed a significant increase in demand for food assistance.
- Government officials have yet to pass another COVID-19 stimulus package to aid the food shortage in the country.
As the Thanksgiving holiday comes close amid the continuous surge of COVID-19 cases in the US, Americans are waiting in line at food banks nationwide. According to news reports, people across the states are now in dire need of food now more than ever in recent decades.
On Tuesday, a video from CNN showed New Jersey residents were piling up at the Meadowlands entertainment complex as they wait to secure boxes of prepackaged meals for Thanksgiving.
“If it wasn’t for this place, we wouldn’t know where we would get our food,” one woman told the news outlet.
In the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, a report said that about 25 percent of households were facing food shortages. The state’s food banks recorded a demand surge of 26 percent.
Speaker with The Providence Journal, the food bank’s executive director said: “I don’t think we’re going to get through this unless Congress approves another COVID-19 relief bill.”
In San Jose, California, a local charity told a local news station that this year, food assistance from the community has risen in roughly quadruple in demand.
“We’re on track to serve about 5,000, maybe more,” in November as part of their annual Thanksgiving food giveaway, City Team program manager Hermie Smit told KTVU 2.
According to Willy Elliott-McCrea, CEO of the Second Harvest Santa Cruz County charity, they were serving “70% more people. 40% of the people who are coming have never ever looked for food assistance before,” adding that it was “staggering.”
In Dallas, Texas, food bank officials have seen a significant climb in demand for food assistance.
The Dallas Morning News reported that North Texas Food Bank authorities told them that over 8,500 meals were given to local residents on Saturday. In previous annual donations, the group said that the demand would not even reach 1,000.
“We know that people need food or they wouldn’t be in line,” said Trisha Cunningham, CEO of the food bank, adding that they want to “make sure anyone that needs food has access to it.”
For months, Congress and the White House have been going back and forth about the passing of the second COVID-19 stimulus package. The $2.2 trillion proposal submitted by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last month was turned down by President Donald Trump. Backing the president, the GOP-controlled senate said that it was too expensive.
Source: The Hill