How You Can You Help with Ending Child Hunger During COVID-19
If you’re worried about kids suffering from hunger in America, your concerns are justified. But if you’ve been thinking there's nothing you can do, think again.
It's a real and urgent problem but there are wonderful programs doing something about it all over the country. In the Palm Springs area of California, the resorts and shopping areas and streets are deserted—except by the convention center, and a nearby high school, where you see long lines of cars. And then you see the faces of the children. In normal times they'd be in school and their parents working, but instead they are waiting for food.
“We come to get food everytime they give it.” says Amaryani
Amaryani and her brother Andrew are just kids, but they understand more about what's going on than you think, and they're worried.
“My dad has been trying to find somewhere to work.” says Andrew
Tens of thousands of families in the resort town saw their incomes evaporate as the tourism industry collapsed in the wake of COVID-19. Food bank volunteers here are now in the lines themselves.
Shaqoya, a mother of two, just lost her job with a hotel and has no idea when she can go back.
“Everyone has to reapply, we were laid off. So we don’t know, that's the unknown.” says Shaquoa.
At this distribution, the California National Guard is helping to respond to what's turned into a child hunger emergency.
Find Food Bank Executive Director Debbie Espinoza shares her concerns: “When I see the children in the car knowing what their families are probably going through, I keep thinking in my head, I can’t stop.”
If she does there's no telling what might happen.
Nationwide the pandemic has led to the highest unemployment since the great depression. At food banks that are a part of the Feeding America network, you see the need. From Utah to Texas to Ohio, it spans coast to coast. A survey this month showed that nearly 1 in 5 American children are not getting enough to eat. And because demand is up this month, the amount of food given out to each family has been slashed.
Again, Debbie Espinoza - “Right now this is 30-50% less than what we would typically give.”
So far, though, she does have a lot of grateful little clients.
Angela, 7, comes for the good stuff! “I like oranges, apples, grapes and strawberries.” says Angela.
Amari arrived with her grandma Sandra and told us her favorite foods from the distribution.
“My favorite vegetable is carrots.” says Amari
And her favorite dinner… “...rice, beans, chicken, and a little drink.”
These are our children and your contribution of just $10 can provide 100 meals secured by Feeding America on behalf of local member food banks to make sure that kids and families in our community don’t have to go without food in the nights ahead. Please give what you can.
“For us to be able to do this together as a community, that’s what we need to do. Nobody wants to see a child starving in the U.S. – it’s not right for that to happen here with the abundance we have in our country.” - Debbie Espinoza.
Check out the other work we are doing to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on children facing poverty.
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