COVID-19 and Hunger

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Day 194: Stay Safe Minnesota

Food security experts are predicting that there might be unprecedented hunger around the world due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In the NPR MPR News, reporter Christianna Silva writes that because many people are out of work due to the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions imposed by authorities, another emerging problem is worsening food insecurity.

Even in US, a nation known for excessive amount of food, “6 million Americans became eligible for food stamps since the early months of the pandemic, according to the Washington Post. Stretching food safety nets to meet the increased need poses a challenge for countries because of how fast the numbers are rising” according to the Tonya Rawe, CARE’s director of global food and nutrition security advocacy.

Reporter Christianna Silva writes: “In communities across the country, the lines at food pantries are stretching longer and longer, and there’s no clear end in sight. Before the pandemic, the number of families experiencing food insecurity — defined as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life — had been steadily falling. But now, as economic instability and a health crisis takes over, new estimates point to some of the worst rates of food insecurity in the United States in years.”

COVID has just wreaked havoc on so many things: on public health, on economic stability and obviously on food insecurity.

Luis Guardia, President of the Food, Research and Action Center (source: NPR MPR News)

In a very detailed New York Times article on effect of coronavirus pandemic worldwide, reporters Peter S. Goodman, Abdi Latif Dahir and Karan Deep Singh write that “worldwide, the population facing life-threatening levels of food insecurity is expected to double, to more than a quarter of a billion people”.

COVID-19 is potentially catastrophic for millions who are already hanging by a thread. It is a hammer blow for millions more who can only eat if they earn a wage. Lockdowns and global economic recession have already decimated their nest eggs. It only takes one more shock — like COVID-19 — to push them over the edge. We must collectively act now to mitigate the impact of this global catastrophe.

Chief Economist, United Nations World Food Program (source: NPR MPR News)

“The number of people undernourished or chronically hungry worldwide could rise from 690 million to 820 million because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report from the humanitarian group CARE” write Peter O’Dowd and Allison Hagan of wbur.org.

According to the Second Harvest Heartland, before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, 1 in 11 Minnesotans struggled to afford food, now 1 in 8 Minnesotans now face hunger.

Coronavirus Pandemic Watch

According to the MDH latest tally (as of Oct 6, 11 a.m.) the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota are 105,740 (out of 2,182,970 tested) with 2,087 deaths. According to Johns Hopkins database (as of Oct 6, 3:23 p.m.) there are 7,488,372 confirmed covid19 infection with 210,637 deaths. Globally the covid19 virus has infected 35,638,016 with 1,046,392 deaths.