November 9, 2020

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FRAC’S COVID-19 Updates

Check out FRACs COVID-19 page for updates, statements, and resources on actions to address the food security, public health, and economic impacts of COVID-19.

COVID-19: Food Insecurity

Food Research & Action Center Congratulations President-Elect Joe Biden, Urges New Administration to Prioritize Ending Hunger in America, FRAC, November 7, 2020
The Food Research & Action Center congratulates Joe Biden on being elected America’s 46th president. President-elect Biden and the new administration will confront many challenges as the long-term public health and economic fallout of COVID-19 continues to unfold. Even prior to the pandemic, millions of people in every corner of the country struggled to put food on the table. And COVID-19 has only deepened our nation’s hunger crisis. The good news is there is a clear path for eliminating hunger in this country and for creating a healthier, more prosperous, and more equitable society where all people and communities are able to thrive. FRAC looks forward to working with the Biden administration and Congress to address the root causes of hunger and protect and strengthen the proven, cost-effective federal nutrition programs.

Hunger Crisis: 1 in 5 Americans Turning to Food Banks, Consumer Reports, November 2, 2020
“For every meal that charities provide, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides nine meals,” says Luis Guardia, president of FRAC, an anti-poverty and anti-hunger research and advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. 

Help with Shipment for Hunger Programs, New York Patch, November 5, 2020
Across the country, many individuals and families have had to rely on pantries and distribution programs to be able to eat. A report in September by FRAC stated that the number of adults reporting that members of their family often did not have enough to eat rose to between 26 and 29 million between April and July of 2020 from about 8 million in 2018.

Research: Food Insecurity Is Worse for Rural Residents During the Pandemic, The Daily Yonder, November 5, 2020
“According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey (collected April 23, 2020, through July 21, 2020), during COVID-19, that number has surged to 26–29 million, or 11 percent of adults,” wrote economist Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, of Northwestern University, in the FRAC report Not Enough to Eat: COVID-19 Deepens America’s Hunger Crisis.  

COVID-19 Amplifies Hunger in Maryland, WBFF-TV, October 30, 2020
Once the pandemic hit the U.S. and its economy, Maryland Hunger Solutions says hunger needs surged in all 24 counties across the state. “It’s exacerbated the existing food insecurity which already existed in Maryland,” said Michael J. Wilson, director of Maryland Hunger Solutions. 

Sizeism Is A Critical Problem in The Time of COVID-19, Study Breaks, November 2, 2020
According to the Food Research & Action Center, impoverished neighborhoods tend to have fewer resources that promote health, such as grocery stores and gym clubs, compared to wealthier neighborhoods.

COVID-19: School Meals

Vermont celebrates statewide universal school meals with local fresh foods as the nation observes Farm-to-School Month, Mountain Times, November 4, 2020
As a result of COVID-19 and waivers granted at the federal level, for the first time ever, all Vermont schools are currently providing universal school meals to their students and will continue through the end of the 2020–2021 school year. “We are committed to the vision of ensuring Universal School Meals statewide long after we move through the current COVID-19 crisis,” stated Betsy Rosenbluth, Vermont FEED project director. “Well-nourished students have fewer sick days, are able to focus in class and are more likely to develop healthy eating habits for benefits that last a lifetime. A [University of Vermont] study also showed that many schools that moved to universal meals have been able to purchase more local food.”

Minnesota school meals programs require new calculations in the pandemic, Star Tribune, November 4, 2020
All of the meals schools served this fall are free to all students in Minnesota, regardless of income level — a shift from typical practice. Because of the challenges of operating schools and feeding students in the pandemic, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) extended the summer meal program that provides free meals into the school year. Theresa McCormick, director of programs for Second Harvest Heartland, said the meals provided by schools are critical for many families in tough times, including some that hadn’t needed the help before the pandemic hit. She said families looking for help should download an app called Free Meals for Kids, which provides information on school meals and other resources across Minnesota.

COVID-19: College Hunger

‘Swipe Out Hunger’ tackles food insecurity issues on NDSU campus, KVRR, November 2, 2020
“Last fall we found that 60 percent of [North Dakota State University] students knew of another student who experienced food shortage or had trouble with paying for food and skipping meals,” said co-chair of the Food Insecurity Task Force, Meghan Yerhot. To combat hunger needs, students in need of food assistance can apply for additional help by filling out a Google form explaining what type of hardship they may be facing. They will then receive funding, which will be added to their student ID card, that can be redeemed at dining centers for additional meals.

COVID-19: Online Purchasing

USDA Expands Access to Online Shopping in SNAP, Invests in Future WIC Opportunities, Food Industry Executive, November 2, 2020
USDA continues to make great strides in bringing the online shopping experience to more of its program participants. USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service is working rapidly to expand capacity in the SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot — having grown the program exponentially over the past few months. Now the agency is investing in the future of online ordering in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).

About Us

FRAC is the leading national nonprofit organization working to eradicate poverty-related hunger and undernutrition in the United States. Visit our website to learn more.

Contact Us

Food Research & Action Center
1200 18th Street, NW Suite 400
Washington, District of Columbia 20036
(202) 986-2200