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14 MILLION U.S. CHILDREN WILL GO HUNGRY THIS WEEK

by Sunita Sohrabji | Sep 15, 2020 | COVID-19
9/15/2020


By SUNITA SOHRABJI/EMS Contributing Editor

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically heightened ongoing food insecurity: 14 million U.S. children will go hungry in any given week, and parents are increasingly skipping meals for several days, in order to feed their children.

5.5 million elderly people are also struggling to find sufficient food in the world’s wealthiest country.

Pre-pandemic, 37 million people, including two million children, chronically suffered from food insecurity. Over the past five months, as U.S. unemployment levels hit highs of 11 to 16 percent, 54 million people are now facing chronic hunger. Food banks and pantries aiming to fill the gaps often find themselves short of food. They are faced with the additional challenge of developing novel ways to distribute food as much of the nation still remains under stay-at-home orders.

People of color, including Blacks and Native Americans, are suffering from hunger at two and a half times the rate of Whites, said Ami McReynolds, Chief Equity and Programs Officer at Feeding America, a nationwide network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries.
“The pandemic has caused a higher demand for food, and there is a lot less food, and fewer places which offer it,” said McReynolds, speaking at an Aug. 28 briefing organized by Ethnic Media Services. She said that hunger was particularly prevalent in Southern states and on Native American reservations.

Other speakers at the briefing were Rev. David Beckmann, president emeritus of Bread for the World, who received the World Food Prize in 2010; and Jovanna Lopez, founder of The People’s Night Market in San Antonio, Texas.

Redlining, which McReynolds described as a tool for perpetuating systemic racism, keeps low-income people of color in poorer neighborhoods, and food deserts with a lack grocery stores. A lack of public transportation in such neighborhoods denies people the ability to access fresh, nutritious food, she said.

Sadly, some of the people now in line for groceries at food banks and pantries were once volunteers and donors, said McReynolds, noting that food insecurity has cut through the middle class during the pandemic.

Federal programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Women, Infants, and Children must be expanded during the pandemic and beyond, she said, urging people to call their congressional representatives to advocate for the programs.

The Trump administration’s implementation of its public charge rule has had a chilling effect on food insecurity, said Beckmann, of Bread for the World. Public charge denies permanent residency to immigrants who have received any form of federal aid. While the rule does not factor in programs like school lunches, which are federally funded, many immigrants have nonetheless dis-enrolled from those benefits, fearing they will be denied permanent residency.

“A lot of people don’t know what counts and what doesn’t, so they would rather not do anything, not even get help from food banks,” said Beckmann. He advocated for a path to citizenship for undocumented people, who receive no federal assistance, and are thus the most vulnerable to chronic hunger.

Increasing SNAP and WIC benefits will yield fruit in 3 to 4 years, he said, echoing McReynolds in the need to promote economic recovery during and after the pandemic.

“The progress against poverty is something that will not end just by giving hungry people food. What needs to happen is for people to be able to earn, to get food.” said Beckmann, voicing the need to invest in opportunities for black people, to generate good jobs and income.

Poverty and hunger could be eliminated in as few as eight years, he said, if lawmakers put their minds to resolving the twin crises.

“People don’t know the scale of this. Even when we know it, we simply say, ‘Oh well, that’s happening to them, not us.’ It is a spiritual problem; I don’t think we care enough,” said Beckmann.

Lopez, of the People’s Night Market in San Antonio, said she started her initiative in 2015, when she found that local food banks were giving out food that was already spoiled. “This was not healthy for our Native, Black and Latin communities,” she said, adding that the only farmer’s market in town was rather ritzy and did not take food stamps.

“That’s when we realized we had to come up with something else for the community to get access to fresh fruits and vegetables, because we definitely didn’t have anything like that being done,” said Lopez.

The People’s Night Market is a grassroots effort relying solely on donations of “a dollar here, a dollar there,” according to Lopez. As the pandemic hit the U.S., the young activist and her team were able to secure $600,000 to be able to feed 150,000 families.

Their efforts often fall short. “Sometimes there are a lot of people that we have to turn away because we run out of food. That makes us really sad. Our local government wasn’t prepared for this and neither was our food bank,” she said.

Lopez has been working to develop community gardens, which would allow people to grow their own fresh food. She has one four-acre plot of land, which the city has leased to her for $1 per year. Expanding the program has been challenging, she said, noting that even small plots can cost upwards of $20,000, a daunting sum for a grassroots initiative.


相关讯息

族裔媒体服务社(EMS)网上会议:平权行动:可以减少种族和民族不平等吗? 
 

HUNGER IN THE PANDEMIC: 14 MILLION CHILDREN IN THE U.S. DO NOT EAT THE FOODS THEY NEED 
 

14 MILLION U.S. CHILDREN WILL GO HUNGRY THIS WEEK 
 

11TH HOUR SAVE FOR CALIFORNIA RENTERS FACING EVICTION IS NOT PERMANENT SOLUTION: ASSEMBLYMAN DAVID CHIU 
 

WITHOUT ART, THE STARK REALITIES OF COVID WOULD MAKE THE WORLD UNBEARABLE 
 

族裔媒体服务社(EMS)网上会议:艺术和文化需要生存的“新交易”吗? 
族裔媒体服务社(Ethnic Media Services)9月11日早上11点举行网上会议,会议的主题是艺术和文化需要生存的“新交易”吗?会议讨论在疫情的影响之下,许多艺术家及演艺人员,随著剧院及表演艺术中心因疫情而关闭,艺术作品及巡回演出的停止,造成了120亿美元的损失。大约近百分之94的艺术家及演艺人员面对收入的暴跌。会议除了与艺术家及文艺推广从业人员对话中了解疫情对他们的影响之外还会着重于如何拯救美国的艺术界由疫情中脱困。

11TH HOUR SAVE FOR CALIFORNIA RENTERS FACING EVICTION IS NOT PERMANENT SOLUTION: ASSEMBLYMAN DAVID CHIU 
 

14 MILLION U.S. CHILDREN WILL GO HUNGRY THIS WEEK 
 

加州人口普查领导人士:我们还有30天的机会改变社会 少数族裔媒体服务中心 
 

Governor Newsom Declares State of Emergency in Fresno, Madera, Mariposa, San Bernardino and San Diego Counties Due to Fire 
 

族裔媒体服务社(EMS)网上会议:如何在我们的社区中提供安全与正义并防止右翼极端主义 
 

Governor Newsom Signs Executive Order in Response to COVID-19 9.3.20 
 

Governor Newsom Signs Emergency Proclamation to Free Up Additional Energy Capacity Amid Heat Wave 
 

族裔媒体服务社(EMS)网上会议:解决房客和房东驱离危机的立法最新信息 
 

BILL TO “SAVE LOCAL JOURNALISM” AWAITING GOV. NEWSOM’S SIGNATURE 
 

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新兴教会的运动是教会的第二次宗教改革, 它将彻底改写教会历史, 并开创全新的教会时代.

叛逆 (1) 


洗衣妇成为最富足的人 (1) 
人们尊敬她,是因为她的奉献仅仅是出于对下一代的爱心,她只想让她辛苦积蓄下来的钱派上用场。正是由于这个乐天知命的态度和简朴无华的智能感动了世人。

你手若有行善的力量,不可推辞,就当向那应得的人施行 - 箴言, 三章二十七节


朱易 :非洲要接福音大使命的最后一棒 

天主教非洲教区的发展朝气蓬勃, 让不少非洲区主教相信, 耶稣基督再来前的福音最后一波, 将会在非洲出现. 他们认为, 福音复兴在欧洲出现过, 在美洲出现过, 在亚洲也出现过, 如今复兴该临到非洲大地了.


朱易 : 教会崇拜多媒体化:有效策略还是偶像崇拜 
他们甚至认为,传统的讲道,就是用文字描述图象来传达信息,而多媒体则是用图象说明文字来传达信息。因此,文字是图象的抽象化,而图象则是文字的具体化。因此多媒体并不是改革宗传统的消失,而是将多元对话引进到传统中。


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