How much food have you or your family stocked up in the duration of this pandemic?
Food banks across America have had miles of cars lined up. However, there has been a lack of donations and a lack of volunteers to help contribute.
Food banks are usually given large donations from grocery stores. Just last year, Kroger donated 69 million pounds worth of meat, produce, eggs, and dairy to local food bank partners (https://www.thekrogerco.com/community/).
Since shelves have been empty, it is harder for larger companies like Kroger to keep making these donations. Most families have seen what stores have looked like and have begun to purchase large amounts of food because they fear shortages and price increases. There has also been an increase in hoarding non-perishable goods because of these same reasons. Since both panic-buying and hoarding are occuring, it would be harder in general to have donations be made to food banks.
Many of the volunteers at food banks are usually older, there have not been enough people to distribute the food packages. According to the Food Bank Council of Michigan, there are a majority of senior volunteers. However, due to this pandemic they are not able to volunteer as much.
So why is this a problem?
Many families are going to have to face unemployment because of COVID-19. This can lead to an even larger problem with families maybe not being able to stay afloat as easily.
The Food Bank Council of Michigan describes wave two of this pandemic by saying, “…specific populations that more than likely never had to negotiate with the emergency food network [will have to]. These special populations include senior citizens, gig workers, service industry and employees of small businesses.”
If there continues to be a lack of donations and a smaller quantity of people willing and able to volunteer, how will this affect our future?