Food Bank Meal Shortage Over Next 12 Months

meal shortage
Photo by Iaritza Menjivar for The Washington Post

According to the US Census Bureau, 22 million Americans reported sometimes, or often, did not have enough to eat within the past week. Feeding America, the nonprofit organization responsible for millions of meals, is expecting shortages in the next year. Read on to learn more.

That number, 22 million, is up 3 million from early March, when around 18 million reported that they sometimes, or often, did not have enough to eat within the past week. One family, interviewed by The Washington Post, said that they were introduced to a Social Services food program as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

One specific program, Interfaith Social Services in Massachusetts, stated that they were used to sending out around 1 million pounds of food a week, but that number has increased to anywhere between 2 and 2.5 million pounds.

“Food insecurity has gone from 1 in 13 people to 1 in 8 in Eastern Massachusetts, even higher for families with children.”

Catherine D’Amato, President of Greater Boston Food Banks

“Katie Fitzgerald, chief operating officer of Feeding America, says that in a Feeding America survey launched Sept. 15 and concluded Sept. 28, member food banks reported seeing an average of 56 percent increase in demand. In August, Feeding America network food banks distributed an estimated 593 million meals, an increase of 64 percent from a typical pre-pandemic month.”

Washington Post

Feeding America anticipates the need 17 billion pounds of food over the next year, but projects a 6 to 8 billion meal deficit in what they are able to provide compared to the needed number of meals.


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