Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment has risen and food insecurity has soared. In 2018, over 37 million people faced food insecurity. According to Feeding America, in 2020 more than 50 million people may face hunger because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Individuals are making daily decisions about whether to have something to eat, purchase medicine, or pay rent or the electric bill. If you know anyone that can use some help or if you would like to volunteer to help, check out these resources.
The greater Pittsburgh community food bank offers a number of resources and opportunities like drive-up food distributions, senior boxes and doorstep delivery to provide food to those most vulnerable. For more information visit the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank website.
Another great local resource is 412 Food Rescue. They help to fight food waste and hunger as well as protect the environment.
412 Food Rescue has partnered with Single Stop to create a secure website where folks can find all the food, income and other assistance benefits they are eligible for. As the name suggests, it’s designed to be a single online connection point that will simplify the benefits system for applicants.
Applicants must complete the online screener and then a resource specialist from 412 Food Rescue will reach out to them personally and assist with the process. They will also follow up to ensure the applicant is receiving their benefits and to help them overcome any obstacles. Here is a short video giving an overview of the program. Their website has more information about 412 Food Rescue and the self-enrollment form.
Just Harvest is an organization that addresses hunger in Allegheny County at its root – economic injustice – through a focus on public policy, food access and community power.
World Central Kitchen‘s mission is a hot plate of food when it is most needed. They envision an organization that uses food to empower communities and strengthen economies. World Central Kitchen provides food to communities around the globe and has safely distributed individually packaged fresh meals to communities in need, including those affected by the coronavirus.
To learn more about issues of hunger and poverty and the ways we can make a difference here are some materials to check out.
The Food Activist Handbook: Big & Small Things You Can Do To Provide Fresh, Healthy Food for Your Community by Ali Berlow
Learn how to make a difference by improving your community’s food quality and security.
Free Lunch by Rex Ogle
Instead of giving him lunch money, Rex’s mom has signed him up for free meals. “Free Lunch” is a story of hardship threaded with hope and moments of grace. Rex’s voice is compelling and authentic, and “Free Lunch” is a true, timely and essential work that illuminates the lived experience of poverty in America. This title is also available as an eBook on OverDrive or on Hoopla as eAudio.
On Our Street: Our First Talk About Poverty by Jillian Roberts and Jaime Casap
A gentle introduction to the issue of poverty, “On Our Street” explores the realities of people living with inadequate resources. This title is also available as an eBook on OverDrive, an eBook on Hoopla or as eAudio on Hoopla.
This film explores the issue of hunger in America and offers some possible solutions to the problem. This title is also available to stream or download on Hoopla.
Poverty and Hunger by Louise Spilsbury
This book can help kids understand the challenges of poverty and hunger.
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