Food insecurity results in mile-long line at Dallas food bank

Unemployment and COVID-19 force the nation to turn to food banks.

On the morning of August 11, families began to queue up hours before the food drive in Dallas opened. With record unemployment figures and a significant decrease in unemployment benefits, Americans have had to turn to food banks. Tuesday’s event, which was held by the North Texas Food Bank, gave an option for walk-up clients without transportation and fed 1,710 families according to Daily Mail. It is further reported that families were given boxes containing dairy, canned goods, noodles, spaghetti sauce, peanut butter, rice and trail mix among others.

Mile-long queue at Fair Park in Dallas. (Source: Daily Mail)

Since the pandemic in March, this was the fourth food drive at Fair Park.

The pandemic has had horrific effects on Texas with 536,336 cases and 9,878 deaths, at the time of writing. What is more, Dallas County is reported to have 56,428 cases and 807 deaths. These statistics have resulted in Texas’ ranking as the third worst affected state.

Source: Daily Mail

Food insecurity rises and Americans say they do not have enough to eat.

These mile-long lines have been explained by census data which revealed that prior to July 21, around 30 million Americans (of 249 million respondents) did not have enough to eat; what is more, the Daily Mail reported that a further 5.4 million claimed that they ‘often’ did not have enough to eat. This is not surprising as the current economic crisis has resulted in unemployment benefits being cut from $600 to $400 this month.

Government relations director Valerie Hawthorne commented on the current food crisis as she told CNN:

Food is one of those items that is easy to cut from a budget. You’ve got to make your mortgage payments. You’ve got to make that car payment, so food becomes a choice for a lot of families.

Moreover, COO of Feeding America Katie Fitzgerald discussed food insecurity saying that “like unemployment, poverty, and the pandemic, food insecurity hits people of color, women, children, seniors and those with disabilities the hardest”. She further told CNN that Feeding America has had to purchase food whereas it usually relies and runs on donations. Ultimately, since there are less volunteers and more issues with supply, food banks are now calling for government assistance to make sure the nation does not starve.

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