Food banks are working hard to feed Americans for a Thanksgiving like no other. This holiday, food banks and charitable organizations have unprecedented demand due in large part to the coronavirus pandemic.
News outlets throughout the nation show extremely long lines and demand from individuals and families looking for assistance during the holiday season, some waiting hours to receive food.
The long wait times and increased demands are an indication of the massive food insecurity Americans face.
With millions out of work during Thanksgiving this year, the need for food banks is great.
In a report, CNN showed a video of the Meadowlands entertainment complex in New Jersey where residents waited several hours to get pre-made boxes of meals for the holiday.
One resident telling the news outlet, “If it wasn’t for this place, we wouldn’t know where we would get our food.”
The Food Bank of Northeast Georgia told the Black Information Network that demand has been up 40% since March 1 of this year.
Chuck Toney, the Executive Director of the food bank, said that there’s a correlation between surges in coronavirus cases and increased demand for food, “demand tapered out and has increased as cases have spiked back up,” he said, “there’s an economic impact and people need assistance.”
Thankfully, Toney said donations and giving responses have been “incredible.” “We were worried about this time of year, it’s a big time of year for nonprofit organizations… and we’re actually ahead of last year’s donations."
"People are continuing to give,” he said. Last Saturday (November 21) the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia distributed 275 turkey dinners to local residents and have increased their mobile food banks from 28 pre-pandemic, to 42.
Celebrity Tyler Perry also brought food to families in Georgia, handing out 5,000 meals in the Atlanta area.
The North Texas Food Bank told the Dallas Morning News they distributed about 8,500 meals in one day.
As the holiday arrives, and food and economic insecurity looms for millions, eyes are on Congress to pass another stimulus package. Though members of Congress have only a few days left in the session and negotiations have seemingly stalled.
The importance of the work of food banks, volunteers, and nonprofits around the country is critical now more than ever as American families look for relief.
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