Feeding America expects the country’s food crisis to worsen
Feeding America says inflation and phasing out pandemic food-assistance programs will likely worsen the hunger crisis.
Vince Hall, Chief Government Relations Officer with Feeding America, tells Brownfield a majority of food banks – 85 percent – are seeing higher or equal demand for food assistance compared to the previous month. “That is a staggering reflection of just how severe the problem of hunger is in the United States and how much the effects of supply chain disruptions and inflation are making this so much harder.”
He says inflation is causing more people to need food assistance and it’s making it harder for Feeding America to serve the same number of people. “Purchasing food that isn’t donated that is necessary to complete a nutritious diet to paying for cold storage and coolers to taking care of fresh fruits and vegetables, which are an important part of our work. All of those costs are significantly higher today then they were a year ago.”
And, he says, emergency benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will expire and that will exacerbate the problem. “That is an extraordinary reduction of food-purchasing power for the most vulnerable families in our communities. These COVID-related SNPA enhancements amount to about $3 billion a month, which is going to be withdrawn from the American economy.”
Hall says on average participants will lose $82 a month in SNAP benefits and people who qualify for the minimum benefits, the allotment drops from $250 to $20.
The Feeding America network of food banks is in every county in the country and its programs help provide meals to children, seniors, families, and survivors of natural disasters.