Just days before the Thanksgiving Holiday, food insecurity continues to rise dramatically in the United States. Eight months after COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, millions of American households are seeking assistance from food banks, many for the first time. State and local officials along with food support volunteers across the nation are calling on Congress to act on a new stimulus package as more than $12 million Americans are set to lose expanded unemployment benefits in December.
Moreover, a recent study from researchers at the University of Chicago and the University of Notre Dame notes that the poverty rate spiked by more than 7 million Americans once the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) expired and individuals and families exhausted their one-time stimulus checks. The latest data also reveals that more than one-in-four Americans is currently unemployed or earning a wage that keeps them below the federal poverty line.
As the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives keep putting off a new stimulus package, people are in desperate need of support. If you or anyone you know are experiencing food insecurity, there is help available. Please contact Second Harvest Heartland (https://www.2harvest.org/) or Hunger Solutions Minnesota (https://www.hungersolutions.org/) for assistance. And, for a comprehensive list of pandemic-related resources and referrals in Minnesota, you can visit the state’s COVID-19 Response webpage (https://mn.gov/covid19/for-minnesotans/get-help/index.jsp) for information financial assistance, food and housing support, educational resources, mental health services, childcare and healthcare support, and other critical household needs.