Feeding America Network Stays Resilient As COVID-19 Crisis Endures

Nation’s largest hunger-relief organization adapts to increased demand, continues to seek public’s support

November 20, 2020

Over 80 percent of food banks in the Feeding America network continue to serve more neighbors during the COVID-19 pandemic yet are accustomed to this new level of demand, working tirelessly to keep inventory of food and resources high. This is according to the most recent survey by Feeding America®, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief and food rescue organization.

Ninety-one percent of food banks in the Feeding America network responded to a survey between Nov. 9 through Nov. 19 to identify critical gaps in funds, food, volunteers and distribution. Food banks have consistently seen a 60 percent increase in demand compared to this time last year, and continue to require more food and resources to provide to people in need. 

According to the USDA, more than 35 million people, including nearly 11 million children, lived in food insecure households before the COVID-19 pandemic. However, a recent Feeding America analysis found that number could rise to more than 50 million people, including 17 million children, in 2020. With the help of monetary contributions to Feeding America and critical partnerships with donors in the supply chain, the Feeding America network has distributed 4.2 billion meals to this growing number of neighbors facing hunger. 

With 11.1 million people in America still unemployed, many are turning to the food banks for the first time. Previous food bank surveys revealed that an estimated 40 percent of people seeking assistance from food banks had never needed help before. 

People across the country can get involved to help neighbors this holiday season and beyond by: 

  • Volunteering at their local food bank
  • Donating to their local food bank or Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund 
  • Contacting elected officials to protect and increase the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which is the first line of defense against hunger
  • Joining the conversation on social media with @FeedingAmerica

Key Findings 
According to the survey distributed Nov. 9 through Nov. 19:

  • Food banks have become accustomed to the new level of increased demand, which has consistently been an average of around 60 percent more neighbors compared to the same time last year.
  • From March 1 through October 31, the Feeding America network distributed an estimated 4.2 billion meals (5.2 billion pounds) to people facing hunger in the United States. 
  • Just over 60 percent of food banks are accepting and in need of volunteers. 

To learn more about ways you can help, please visit feedingamerica.org


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About Feeding America

Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of more than 200 food banks, 21 statewide food bank associations, and over 60,000 partner agencies, food pantries and meal programs, we helped provide 5.3 billion meals to tens of millions of people in need last year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; brings attention to the social and systemic barriers that contribute to food insecurity in our nation; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.