As the need for food assistance continues to climb, new research from the University of Southern California warns that food insecurity affects more people than many think it does.
Before the pandemic, it was estimated that only about 10% of the food from the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank went to those experiencing homelessness, and the majority of the food went to lower-income individuals and families who were facing a high cost of living in LA County. Even before COVID-19, many families faced tough decisions to skip meals to pay for rent, medication or other expenses. In addition to skipping meals, many resorted to cheap, unhealthy food to make ends meet.
The pandemic, and the related economic fallout, has made the situation far worse.
LA Regional Food Bank – Pre-Pandemic:
LA Regional Food Bank – Post-Pandemic:
According to new research spearheaded by USC Dornsife’s Public Exchange published on September 23, 2020, food insecurity expands beyond low-income individuals in Los Angeles County. According to the study, food insecurity in LA County peaked in April, and it remains much higher now than before the Coronavirus outbreak.
Kayla de la Haye, the lead researcher and assistant professor of preventive medicine at Keck School of Medicine of USC, said, “The spread of COVID-19 has worsened the already high levels of food insecurity among low-income households and marginalized groups and has even impacted demographic groups that are historically less likely to ever experience it.”
This CNN story from April 2020 shows two first-time food recipients who found themselves in need due to the pandemic. They attended one of the Food Bank’s drive-thru distributions to receive the food they need to take care of their families.
It is no question that the Coronavirus, and the related economic fallout, has impacted Los Angeles County in major ways. The Food Bank continues to work diligently to alleviate hunger in our community. While food security is on the rise, so is generosity. As a non-profit organization, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank relies on donations and volunteers to complete our critical work.
“Thank you” to the generous people of Los Angeles County who have made financial contributions or donated time as a volunteer. It is thanks to you that we are able to continue the fight against hunger.