Health

State of hunger during COVID-19 in the United States: How a pandemic exacerbated food insecurity

“The first and most important change that happened to SNAP at the beginning of the pandemic was to make profits much more generous to all eligible households, not just the lowest-income households,” says Dr. Bauer. From April to September 2020, SNAP and P-EBT combined monthly redemption of $ 8.4 billion. This is an 86.4% increase compared to the same period in 2019. USDA Economic Research Service..

It was a huge benefit to many, and these programs were not without some inconsistencies. For example, according to Dr. Bauer, the temporary emergency expansion of SNAP in 2020 actually blocked access for the lowest-income households as more households were eligible. They were no longer eligible as they had already received the maximum benefits available. That is, it did not increase. Pandemic aid From them.

“The final thing that happened was that” better “SNAP-eligible families saw a significant increase in benefits, and” worse “family did not see an increase in benefits,” says Dr. Bauer.

To supplement federal assistance, many members of the marginalized community have come up with unique imaginative solutions that can help mitigate hunger at the local level. According to Dr. Bowen, the first study “not only discovered hardships and difficulties, but also stories of resilience, creativity, and unity,” she says. “Federal food assistance programs were paramount to family survival, but food pantry and other forms of private and non-profit assistance (often small) were inadequate or unavailable if federal programs were inadequate or unavailable. It was an essential temporary gap. “

This is by La Semilla, a group of immigrant community organizers. Distribute about 800 boxes of fresh food a week For an almost undocumented family living in a trailer park in Durham and Raleigh. One of the five undocumented mothers lost her job at McDonald’s the same month her husband was detained by ICE.

“People like this call on me to ask for money, but I don’t have it,” La Semira organizer Ivan Almonte tells SELF. “But I can find food, and food is something that people no longer run out of.”

Organizers worked with local supermarkets to bring perishable boxes to COVID-19 testing sites and local vaccination events, providing a keen lens for the necessary changes in public health and mutual aid. For Almonte, it is a subtle resistance to systems that do not serve all communities equally.

“another person [outside the immigrant community] I saw for myself the reality of the situation where people needed food and this was the place to distribute it, “says Almonte.

Returning to Kentucky, Lynn found relief in the weekly food box from CANE kitchen, Or a community agricultural nutrition company in Letcher County. The food pantry USDA Summer Food Program Every summer, when school is closed, we distribute food boxes to families and provide lunch to children. When face-to-face classes were closed during the pandemic, free and discounted lunch programs at school were not available to children, and food pantry became even more important. According to CANE board member Valerie Horn, the pantry provided 700,000 food boxes in the summer of 2020. In contrast, in 2014, the first year of the program, we provided a total of 700 boxes.

Through USDA School Lunch Exemption Extension In the program, CANE Kitchen received $ 2.2 million in 2020, compared to $ 30,000 received in 2019. It used extra money to buy local food from farmers, including mustard greens. sweet potato Fruits that are cooked and canned, sometimes with fresh ones protein The options it offers to those who need it without question.

State of hunger during COVID-19 in the United States: How a pandemic exacerbated food insecurity

Source link State of hunger during COVID-19 in the United States: How a pandemic exacerbated food insecurity

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