During a recent interview, Olympic Gold Medalist Simone Biles opened up about food insecurity in the city of Houston. While Biles trains for the 2021 Olympics, she has attempted to do her part by holding food drives at her gym during Thanksgiving and the December holiday season. Still, many struggle with getting enough food for their families as the holiday season nears.
"[Food Insecurity in Houston] impacts me because it feels like since I've been in the Houston community they've supported me so much that it feels like I have to do the same for them. At the gym, we've done two food drives. We did a Thanksgiving one and a Christmas one," she said.
During the pandemic, the country has seen a sharp increase in layoffs, evictions and foreclosures that have left many families searching for assistance. This year, Feeding America projects that 50 million Americans will not have "adequate access" to nutritious food during the holidays.
"What we've seen, has been, unfortunately, a steady level of greatly, significantly increased need, since the pandemic started," Feeding America COO Katie Fitzgerald said.
"About 40% of the people who are showing up for food distributions have never before had to rely on charitable food assistance."
To help mitigate these hardships, millions of Americans are pitching in wherever they can to help out. Al Roker has teamed up with the Connecticut Food Bank to help reduce food insecurity where he resides. Elsewhere, Michael Jordan offered $2 million to help battle food insecurity in his community during Thanksgiving. Whether it be one dollar, a few volunteer hours or can of vegetables, every bit helps.
"It's just crazy, but it feels amazing to give back to my own community and city," Biles said.
"I just don't want anybody to go hungry over the holidays, especially during the pandemic."
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