Philadelphia Inquirer:

Half of American families say they fear a hungry holiday season

As many as 12% of households with children reported that they “sometimes or often” didn’t have enough to eat in the last seven days, according to an analysis released last week of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) in Washington, D.C.

Looking ahead to the next four weeks, 56% of households with children nationwide are “not very confident” they will be able to afford needed food. Nine percent said they are “not at all confident.”

Percentages are likely higher for low-income Americans. The survey contacted about 110,000 households across all income levels this fall.

Looking into the world of food pantries during the pandemic, Hunger Free America, a national nonprofit based in New York City, released a study on Wednesday in which 11% of soup kitchens and food pantries nationwide reported that they didn’t distribute enough food to meet demand in 2020.

Further, more than 22% of feeding programs were forced to turn people away, reduce the amount of food distributed, or limit hours due to lack of resources. Just 4.8% of feeding programs reported doing the same in 2019.

“While charitable food pantries and soup kitchens struggled heroically to meet the increased demand during the pandemic,” said Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America, “they were only able to scratch the surface of the need.”

He added that only an increased disbursement in 2020 of food stamps, now known as SNAP benefits for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, was “the only thing that truly prevented mass starvation.”

Bookmark the permalink.