A new study by Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization, projects the First State’s food insecurity rates will rise substantially as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The study says the pandemic, which started in March, could mean another 50,080 Delawareans are food insecure, without adequate access to nutritious food.
“Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, we had approximately 121,000 food insecure Delawareans. Once the pandemic hit, it’s now anticipated that there will be more than 171,000 food insecure Delawareans,” said Kim Turner the communications director for the Food Bank of Delaware.
Turner notes children have been especially hit hard by the pandemic. The Feeding America report indicates it could make 18,590 more kids food insecure, leaving the First State with 57,270 children in that category.
Turner says to help meet increased demands for food assistance the Food Bank of Delaware continues to host mass drive-thru distributions in all three Delaware counties.
It is also offering pop-up mobile pantries directly in neighborhoods and increased its efforts to distribute more food through its partners.
“We have been working hard to make sure we can get as much food out into our community as possible," said Turner. "We have been hosting large drive-thru distributions in each county every month. This is on top of the work that we’re already doing to make sure our network of partners up and down the state - making sure their pantries are stocked.”
Turner expects the drive-thru distributions to continue for the foreseeable future.
Turner adds that since the COVID-19 crisis hit Delaware, 5.1 million pounds of food has been distributed to families in need across the First State.
That’s double the amount of food distributed between March and June 2019.
The Impact of the Coronavirus on Local Food Insecurity analyzes food insecurity rates for the overall population and children by state, county and congressional district. You can read more here.