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article imageImages show the extent of food insecurity in America

By Karen Graham     Nov 22, 2020 in Health
About 4 in 10 Americans have experienced food insecurity for the first time during the Covid-19 pandemic. Since March as many as seven million people have enrolled in the federal government's food stamp program and that won't last much longer.
A staff photographer for the San Antonio Express-News, William Luther, may have done more to help hungry Americans this Thanksgiving than anyone will ever really know, according to CBS News, and with Thanksgiving coming up, more families will have something on the table this year.
We're talking about a drone image taken back on April 9, high above some ten thousand people, their cars parked bumper-to-bumper in a vast San Antonio parking lot, waiting for food. The image went viral. "I think it really helped put clarity on something that was really difficult for people to understand," Luther said.
And since then, similar scenes have been repeated around the country, like a massive one in Dallas/Fort Worth just this past week. A food bank in Northern Colorado serving Larimer County residents has seen a 41 percent increase in food distribution to other local nonprofits.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines food insecurity as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life. This is not to be confused with "hunger," which refers to a personal, physical feeling of discomfort. Food insecurity refers to a lack of available financial resources for food at the household level.
In 2019, 10.5 percent of households were food insecure at least during some part of the year, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). These numbers equate to about 35 million Americans — including approximately 11 million children that were food insecure.
A poll conducted by market research company OnePoll was released Tuesday that showed that 4 out of 10 people - that's 40 percent - have experienced food insecurity since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Close to half of those polled said they struggled to afford food, while 67 percent of adults say they have skipped a meal at times just so their children could have a meal. Yes, it is true that food insecurity is not something new in this country, but the pandemic has exacerbated the problem.
Based on data from Feeding America, a leading national nonprofit food bank network - "if the unemployment rate averages 10.5% this year and the poverty rate comes in above 14%, (which Feeding America expects the U.S. to hit), more than 50 million people will experience food insecurity, including about 17 million children.
Those impacted the most are Black and Latino Americans, especially those with children, and the elderly, who quite often have difficulty getting to a grocery store.
Federal programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) are helping, but food banks and pantries are picking up a lot of the slack, reports CNBC News.
More about Food insecurity, Covid19, United States, San antonio, drone image
 
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