The pandemic has changed how we see hunger today, both around the world and in the United States. The global health crisis became an economic calamity followed by a nutrition catastrophe. As businesses shut down, job losses mounted, supply chains shattered, and schools that had provided vital meal programs closed, access to food and nutrition was radically interrupted, and in many cases severely limited, for billions of people. The World Food Program - the United Nations agency in charge of emergency food distribution as well as school meal programs in numerous countries - warned that an additional 270 million people were facing grave hunger, with children most at risk. Nutritionists predicted that stunting, which already affects nearly one of every four children in the world, would surely rise. Researchers, writing in the medical journal The Lancet, estimated that more than 6 million children would suffer wasting (severe underweight) and that as many as 10,000 children could die from malnutrition every month in the coming year.
Hunger has become more personal for many Americans than at any time since the Great Depression. As the pandemic paralyzed the economy and jobs and incomes vanished, we have seen massive demand at food banks and pop-up relief pantries - perhaps we have even been there ourselves or recognized our relatives, friends, neighbors, or co-workers in those crowds.
Under this project, we will be providing food and grocery supplies for approximately 150 families in our area, who are facing food and nutrition crises.