“Hunger is fading as an invisible problem”, but it is not going away, food banks warn

In the San Francisco area, 6.2% of people reported a food shortage between June 9 and 21. Silicon Valley’s second harvest still serves twice as many people as before the pandemic. CalFresh, a state nutrition assistance program, serves 24% more people in the Bay Area than before.

Even people who are back to work are likely to catch up on overdue bills or unmet needs for too long. Food aid allows them to spend their money on something else. “Shopping for groceries is a very basic thing when you have children,” a woman told the the Chronicle. “Right now I’m working, but I still feel the need to go get food at Second Harvest. This way I can use the food money for other things my children need or to pay my mother to take care of my children while I am working.

In Delaware, the number of food insecure people reached 140,000 during the pandemic, compared to 105,000 previously. It remains high, with 114,000 people still needing help with food. (And let’s be clear, the food insecurity figures in the United States before the pandemic weren’t exactly good.)

In West Virginia, Feeding America estimates that 19% of children go hungry. And this is a matter of policy: “Nonprofits are not a one-size-fits-all solution to hunger, nor to a social problem. Not-for-profit, for-profit and government sectors all play a role in strengthening food security, ”said Caitlin Cook of the Mountaineer Food Bank. Times West Virginia.

A recent poll in Massachusetts shows the complex factors aggravating food insecurity. The MassINC survey of parents of K-12 children found that people who received government food assistance like P-EBT, which provides benefits to eligible children for free or priced school meals. reduced, found it very useful. But many families who may qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program have not received these benefits. Many thought their incomes were too high to qualify; others were unaware that their families could get both P-EBT and SNAP. Others cited their immigration status.

Hunger was with us before the coronavirus pandemic. It has gotten worse, but reverting to the status quo does not mean the problem is solved, especially with so many families struggling to catch up in the already precarious position they found themselves in before their support was reversed. . under them. The Biden administration has takes important steps towards more humane policies, but we must ensure that the economic recovery does not lead to the attitude that there are no more problems.

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