Eric Cooper, CEO of San Antonio Food Bank, told CNBC that his Texas food bank is feeding twice as many people as before before the coronavirus epidemic caught on in the United States.
“Before the pandemic, we fed about 60.00 people a week, and now we see about 120,000 people a week, and most of them have just arrived at the food bank and have never had to ask for help.” Tuesday night’s interview about “The News with Shepard Smith.”
Cooper’s food bank serves eight semi-truckloads of food a day to those in need. The numbers are so high that they have to give food. According to the organizers of the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, one in four people cannot meet their basic food needs. This is the highest since the Great Depression.
According to Feeding America, 54 million people in the United States do not have enough food. That’s about 13 million more than last year and more than the combined population of Texas and Florida.
“Today we had a distribution that fed 2000, and those distributions are there all the time,” Cooper said. “Food banks across the country have seen this unprecedented need, and we’re only working as hard as we can to balance private donations, with public help to try to provide people with food.”
In the South, the positivity rate is 11% and the region accounts for about a third of all coronavirus deaths and hospitalizations nationwide, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins data. On Tuesday, Texas was at an all-time high with nearly 14,000 new cases. Cooper told presenter Shepard Smith that distance learning is a particular stress for parents when it comes to providing food for their children.
“A child is missing ten meals in a week, and if a mother has two or three children at school, she now feels the cost of that food at home, and without employment, the children go hungry,” Cooper explained. “We hear from schools that kids are struggling with their education because they don’t have access to good nutrition.”
As food insecurity increased, federal funding was critical to the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, which provided $ 850 million to food banks this year. Cooper said he hopes Congress will act quickly to support families to free them from the ranks of food banks and grocery stores.
“We just hope Congress acts quickly, the stimulus package should support families to put food on their tables,” Cooper said.
Cooper said if anyone wants to help, visit FeedingAmerica.org, contact your local food bank, and get involved with a food donation, volunteer, or financial contribution.