As coronavirus continues to surge across the country, more and more Americans are turning to food banks, many of them for the first time. The holidays traditionally include festive gatherings and large meals that many people will not be able to afford this year.
Prior to the pandemic, about 10.5% of US households were food insecure (having limited or uncertain access to food) at some point in 2019. Now, that number has more than doubled. Today on average, about 22.5% of households are food insecure each week, and for minority households, the rates are typically much higher.
As of the end of October, 80% of food banks are serving more people than they were at this same time last year, according to Feeding America, the largest charitable food assistance network in the country. They report distributing approximately 4.2 billion meals so far in 2020.
Additionally, it’s more difficult for food banks to fundraise during the pandemic, especially for smaller local locations. That said, food banks have been and will continue to be there for their neighbors through the holidays.
“If there was ever a time to work together to help our world, it certainly is now,” said Trish Faidiga of Advantage Building & Facility Services in West Chester, PA. They, along with JL Architects, TD&H Engineering, and Old Forge Builders are teaming up with their client, Goshen Executive Center in West Chester, PA, to support food banks across our area. To help out, please donate to our Philabundance virtual food drive. Philabundance is the Delaware Valley’s largest hunger relief organization, acquiring, rescuing, and distributing food to 90,000 people weekly in nine counties in PA and NJ.
How can you help if you want to do more than donate to our virtual food drive? Feeding American suggests the following:
- Food banks need volunteer support to keep food programs running. Make a difference in-person or online and volunteer today.
- Send a message to the front-line food bank workers and volunteers helping our neighbors every day to say thank you for all of their hard work during this time.
- Families across the country need more support to get meals – and fast. Support emergency relief today by becoming an advocate.
This holiday season may we come together to support the needs of our community, while staying safe and taking the necessary steps to maintain our health and wellness. Together, we will get through this pandemic!