COVID-19 has created a lot of new norms for us which we have learned to adapt to in a small amount of time. Many of us have experienced the new normal of seeing people fighting over toilet paper, picking over non-perishables in the grocery stores, and food hoarding. The worst part of all the panic-buying going on, is the fact that most people will end up wasting this food that they are stocking up on. If people are buying lots of perishables, the odds are that many will be thrown out. If people are stocking up on non-perishables, it is likely that these will sit on their shelves for years without needing them.
However, there are people that need these things now more than ever. Food banks are being overrun across the country. Food banks that typically serve less than 100 people a day, are now serving upwards of 1,000 people a day. At others, hundreds of cars will wait in hour long lines to receive food. Many food banks have suffered a huge loss in donations, as many people are fearful of donating money when they aren’t sure if they will need it for themselves. Food donations have also come to a halt, as many large organizations that usually make regular donations, are currently shut down such as restaurants and hotels. Grocery stores also make huge donations to the food banks, but most have little to offer right now as panicked customers are buying more than usual.
Food banks are hurting, and more and more people are going hungry or are worried about where their next meal is coming from. More than 10 million Americans have lost their jobs just in the second half of March alone, and many are still waiting to successfully apply or receive their unemployment benefits. The next time you are in the grocery store or ordering from home, please consider the above. Only purchase what you need, and if you have the means to, consider donating money, food, or your time to your local food bank. Visit this link if you are in need of food, or are looking for ways to help!