Tens of millions of people in the U.S. encounter a “new era of hunger”
Under the new crown epidemic, tens of millions of people in the United States have encountered a “new era of hunger.” The British “Financial Times” website reported on the 23rd that affected by the new crown pneumonia epidemic, the number of hungry people in the United States has increased significantly, and a considerable part of them are children.
According to the “Financial Times” website, Claire Bambino-Fentenotte, chief executive officer of America’s largest hunger relief organization in the United States, said that the new crown pneumonia epidemic has greatly aggravated relief work because of Americans in need. The number has surged. She said that despite living in a country with enough food to feed everyone, many Americans still go hungry for the first time in their lives.
According to reports, Bambino-Fentenotte gave some amazing numbers. She said that in 2020, due to the epidemic, the “food insecure” population in the United States may increase by 17 million. According to the estimates of “Relief to the United States”, this will increase the total number of this population from 37.2 million before the epidemic to 54 million. Of these hungry people, 18 million, or 1/3 are children. The National Broadcasting Corporation reported in July that a study by the Policy Research Institute of Northwestern University found that the epidemic has almost doubled the “feeling of food insecurity” in the United States. “Relief to the United States” estimated at that time that as family incomes have been drastically reduced due to the epidemic, about 40% of people who go to food banks receive food assistance for the first time.
The author of the report on the “Financial Times” website lamented that when he reported famine in Africa in the 1980s, he never expected that he would write about hunger in his homeland 40 years later. She described that outside a food bank in Queens, New York, locals lined up for 400 meters, which could cause traffic jams for several hours. A recent report by the New York Times described a similar scenario: hundreds of cars lined up outside the food bank, some of whom had never received relief food before. In Houston, charities provide food to as many as 2,000 people every six hours. The local community center distributed 567,000 pounds (approximately 257,000 kilograms) of food in 2019; the food distributed from March 18 to July 6, 2020 has reached 528,000 pounds.
“Only with a pension, I will be very tight.” Jorge Lopez, a retired city parking enforcement officer living in Chicago, told the Financial Times reporter. “I can’t afford to go to the grocery store.” He said, this Part of it is because he spends $600 a month to buy diabetes drugs, of which $100 must be paid out of his pocket. “Considering my income, this is very difficult. Sometimes I get a little desperate.”
Bambino-Fontenault said that the US federal government’s $1,200 stimulus check and a weekly unemployment benefit of $600 seemed to have worked for a while. In April, food charity demand surged 70% year-on-year, and after subsidies were issued, the growth rate dropped to 50%. But at the end of July, the figure climbed to 59% again. This figure does not reflect the impact of the federal government’s $600 weekly unemployment benefit expiring at the end of July. Bambino-Fontenault predicts that unless more funds are provided to those in need, there will be a huge shortage in the next 12 months.
With the advent of the “new era of hunger”, can Americans overcome the difficulties?