Feeding America looking for solutions to fight food insecurity during pandemic
As the economy struggles to recover more people are in need of food. However, declining donations and distribution issues cause hurdles for food security, forcing Feeding America to adjust operations to better serve those in need.
Before the pandemic, Feeding America served 4.5 billion pounds of food in 2019. However, as cases of COVID spiked, donations started to dwindle.
“Early on in the pandemic, food banks were reporting anywhere from 40 to 70 percent drops in donations of food, especially from retail and manufacturing sectors,” Feeding America’s Executive Vice President Katie Fitzgerald said.
Even though food banks were facing shortages, the organization took steps to make fresh food a priority.
“One of the first things many people choose to cut from their grocery budget, when faced with financial insecurity, is produce, and yet we know consumption of fresh produce is critical for the health of people and the health of the produce industry,” Fitzgerald said.
An imbalance in the supply chain forced many food banks, like Feeding America, to find innovative ways to get food from the field to families in need, while keeping everyone safe.
USDA’s CFAP is a major tool to fight food insecurity
“Our members are currently on track to receive 265 million incremental pounds of perishable product through this program, and we remain poised to take another 550 million pounds, as more boxes become available,” Fitzgerald said.
According to Feeding America, the pandemic highlights the need to invest in food security. The organization is working with the USDA, along with other agencies, to find public and private solutions. Also, food donations are improving but are still not close to pre-COVID levels.
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