Americans are lining up in historic numbers at food banks across the country this week as the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates levels of food insecurity for millions of people.
As the Thanksgiving holiday draws closer, news reports from states around the U.S. indicate that more Americans face food security now than at any time in recent decades.
Video obtained by CNN on Tuesday from the Meadowlands entertainment complex in New Jersey showed residents waiting for several hours to obtain prepackaged boxes of meals for the Thanksgiving holiday.
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“If it wasn’t for this place, we wouldn’t know where we would get our food,” one distraught woman told CNN of the food bank in East Rutherford, N.J.
A report from the Rhode Island Community Food Bank indicated that as many as one in four households in the state was facing food insecurity, while food banks in the state faced an increase in demand of roughly 26 percent.
“I don’t think we’re going to get through this unless Congress approves another COVID-19 relief bill,” the food bank’s executive director told The Providence Journal.
In San Jose, Calif., the program manager of CityTeam, a local charity, told news station KTVU 2 that demand for food assistance from city residents had more than tripled over the course of 2020.
“We’re on track to serve about 5,000, maybe more,” in November as part of their annual Thanksgiving food giveaway, Hermie Smit told KTVU 2.
“We’re serving 70% more people. 40% of the people who are coming have never ever looked for food assistance before. So it’s been staggering,” added Willy Elliott-McCrea, CEO of the Second Harvest Santa Cruz County charity.
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Source: The Hill