Students are typically thrilled to hear that last school bell ring—signaling that their long-awaited summer is finally here! However, with schools unexpectedly closed this summer, some in need missed out on those school meals that provided the nourishment missing from the home. Families experiencing food insecurity are greatly impacted during this time. Especially in the coming months with many schools deciding to continue virtual instruction for the upcoming academic year, many students will not be able to rely on school meals.
Impact of COVID-19
According to the Food Security Information Network, COVID-19 has affected “the most vulnerable [135 million people] to the consequences of this pandemic as they have very limited or no capacity to cope with either the health or socioeconomic aspects of the shock.” In local schools across the nation, students impacted by hunger directly felt the different socioeconomic challenges, including financial strains caused by parents’ unemployment and lack of access to healthy food.
These prolonged school closures have also meant that students can no longer rely on receiving school meals—the only guaranteed food for many. The Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University published a study that predicted early on that there would be an overwhelming increase in the need for food. In fact, the institute warned the following, “April 2020 food insecurity for children is 40% higher than it was predicted to be.” The study came to this conclusion based on a 10% increase in unemployment the month before. And we can see that the need for food in certain households has gotten worse.
While there is continued uncertainty surrounding the many challenges families face during this time, you can help.
America’s Virtual Food Bank
Feeding Children Everywhere activates people for a hunger-free world and there are so many ways you can help out during this time! Through Full Cart, America’s Virtual Food Bank, you can do a good deed for a family in need to help send a package of groceries directly to a family’s door. Through this program and the help of generous donors, we can help lessen the uncertainty for families during these difficult times. Now more than ever is the time to help out those who are experiencing hunger. With your help, we can all make a difference together.