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

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 consistently report a nearly 60 percent increase in demand compared to last year and continue to require more food and resources to provide for people in need. 

This news comes when Congress has arrived at a bipartisan COVID relief deal to provide millions of people with short-term economic relief and nutrition assistance. 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. It 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 individuals 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 ends, 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

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 than 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 need volunteers. 

To learn more about ways you can help, please visit


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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, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.