The Coronavirus pandemic may leave tens of millions of people in the U.S. unable to buy enough food to feed their families. As per the analysis, in the country, the demand for aid at food banks and pantries has surged since the COVID-19 outbreak forced the U.S. to shut down economies, resulting in over 40 million new unemployment benefit claims.
The situation in the country due to the virus outbreak could be worse, as an analysis by Feeding America, the national food bank network estimated that one in four children, almost 18 million minors, could need food aid in 2020 which is a 63 percent increase compared to 2018. The analysis also revealed that about 54 million U.S. citizens could go hungry without support from food banks, food stamps, and other aid.
The Upcoming Food Crisis in the US
Even though the food crisis varies from state to state and country to country, it should be noted that over 11 million people in the states of Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, New Mexico, Texas, and Tennessee are expected to suffer from the food crisis in 2020.
The analysis assumed a national annual unemployment rate of 11.5 percent that is 7.6 percentage points higher than 2018 and an annual poverty rate of 16.6 percent which is 4.8 points more than 2018.
As the state of Mississipi is noticed as the worst-affected state before, due to the pandemic around three-quarters of a million people could need food aid in 2020, including one in every three children, reveals the report. The Sin City, Las Vegas, which has been facing some tough times, survived the shutdowns of the casinos, hotels, and restaurants but a complete reopening will take months.
As per The Guardian, Larry Scott, chief operating officer of the Three Square food bank in Las Vegas, said, "We were on the precipice of being the first food bank to meet the meal gap but we just don't have the food sources to meet this sudden, dramatic increase. We have to completely retool our organization to accommodate this," and added that "People are going to go hungry, that's the truth."
In Nevada, the state where the jobless figure is higher than any state ever, even during the 2008 Great Depression, one in three children and one in five adults are projected to suffer from food insecurity in 2020. Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America said, "This pandemic continues to impact the lives and livelihoods of our neighbors nationwide, putting millions of additional people at risk of hunger while continuing to hurt people already familiar with hardship."
Reopening Economies in the U.S.
As many states have started to reopen, the economic recovery is expected to be extremely slow, especially if a second wave of the Coronavirus or any other outbreak is not contained immediately.
It should be mentioned that as per the experts, if another wave hits the U.S. and authorities fail to curb it, the unemployment issue may last for years, causing millions of Americans reliable on respective authorities with food, utilities, and rent in the medium and long term.