Nine Months Later, Food Banks Continue Responding to Rising Need for Help

Feeding America seeks support from government, public to fight America’s ongoing hunger crisis

December 22, 2020
Volunteer wearing face mask and moving boxes at food bank

Nearly 85 percent of food banks in the Feeding America network have reported serving more neighbors during the COVID-19 pandemic as millions seek help to put food on the table this holiday season. This is according to the most recent survey of food bank leadership by Feeding America®, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief and food rescue organization.

Ninety-four percent of food banks in the Feeding America network responded to a survey between Dec. 10 through Dec. 21 to identify critical gaps in funds, food, volunteers and distribution. Food banks continue to consistently report a nearly 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. 

This news comes at a time when Congress has arrived at a bipartisan COVID relief deal that would provide short-term economic relief and nutrition assistance for millions of people. The legislation includes increasing benefits in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – the nation’s first line of defense against hunger – and delivering more nutritious food to the charitable food system through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). Still, Feeding America views this as a down payment as more will likely be necessary in the coming months and will continue to work with policymakers to ensure families have the food they need during this crisis.

“Food banks, food pantries and meal programs nationwide have been working tirelessly these past nine months to help individual and families facing hunger – but we cannot fight this battle alone,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America. “We have been urging Congress for months to pass this emergency relief bill and are grateful for their continued support, for only when we band together can we overcome challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

As the 2020 tax year comes to a close, there is still time to make a tax-deductible contribution to help support neighbors nationwide. Feeding America projects 50 million people may experience food insecurity this year, including 17 million children. Each $1 donated helps provide at least 10 meals to neighbors in need. Everyone can make a difference by visiting feedingamerica.org/donate.

Key Findings from Food Bank Leadership Pulse Survey 
According to the survey distributed Dec. 10 through Dec. 21:

  • Food banks have become accustomed to the new level of increased demand, which they report has consistently been an average of nearly 60 percent more neighbors compared to the same time last year.
  • From March 1 through Nov. 30, the Feeding America network distributed an estimated 4.8 billion meals (5.9 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
 


Contact

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About Feeding America

Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, we provide meals to more than 40 million people each year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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