Report finds staggering amount of Americans have turned to food banks since the beginning of the pandemic


NORTHERN VIRGINIA (WDVM) — According to Consumer Reports, one in five Americans have relied on a local food bank or food pantry service to supplement their meals.

By the numbers, the food crisis has been far worse for people of color. Consumer Reports found 35% of Black Americans and 22% of Hispanic Americans have relied on food services at some point this year.

Even worse, half of the people accounted for in the survey, had not used food services a year prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

More locally, food banks in Northern Virginia have seen a surplus of community members coming out to get meals.

“Since March, Food for Others has doubled the number of households we are serving weekly. Before the pandemic, across all four of our programs we served about 2,000 families every week and almost overnight when the pandemic started in March that number doubled to 4,000 families every week,” said Bridget Smydstrup, communications coordinator for Food for Others.

This month, Food For Others and many other local food banks, need items to hand out to families for Thanksgiving.

Food For Others needs these Thanksgiving items:

  • Cranberry sauce
  • Canned sweet potatoes
  • Canned green beans
  • Stuffing and gravy packets
  • Pie filling

Food For Others always needs these high-demand items:

  • Fresh fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Canned chili
  • Tomato product
  • Chicken/tuna
  • Pasta/rice
  • Canned soup
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Bread

Food banks also need monetary donations in order to buy items in bulk. For more information, click here.

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