As the COVID-19 pandemic reshapes life in America, it is essential that we protect everyone’s most basic human right to nutritious food. WhyHunger is activating our Rapid Response Fund to provide immediate economic relief and direct support to the people most impacted by hunger and poverty during the COVID-19 crisis.
For 45 years, WhyHunger has worked with emergency food providers, small-scale farmers, and food chain workers across the country. We’re uniquely positioned to coordinate a national response and distribute resources to the communities and organizations that need them most. Join WhyHunger by investing in our Rapid Response Fund to provide immediate support and critical relief. Funds raised will be used to support:
- Food banks and pantries struggling to meet rising demand and to adapt distribution to protect their staff and the communities they serve
- Small farmers who are losing income in the wake of local market closures and yet are preparing to ramp up local food production to create resilient food economies and ensure access to nutritious food
- Workers along the food chain who are facing unprecedented economic hardship
- WhyHunger’s national Find Food Database, Texting service and Hotline to connect seniors, children, veterans, hourly workers and families impacted by hunger, illness and forced unemployment with free, local food and nutritional services.
The most vulnerable
This crisis has exposed major weaknesses in our global food system and stark inequities that leave tens of millions in persistent hunger and poverty. Even before the pandemic, 37 million people were struggling to get food on the table for their families, while 4 out of 5 U.S. workers were living paycheck to paycheck. Millions of low-income people face chronic illness and health disparities making them even more susceptible to COVID-19.
As millions of workers — especially in the restaurant and food industry — have been laid off or told to stay home without pay, there is an incredible increase in demand for access to nutritious food. With the Federal Reserve estimating that as many as 40% of Americans were an expected $400 bill away from being cashless before the crisis, we expect the need to skyrocket.
At the same time, food producers that sell fresh produce and meats directly to local and regional markets — such as coops, restaurants, and farmers markets — are also experiencing a sudden loss of income.
Now more than ever, it’s vital to ensure the human right to nutritious food for all people, especially the most vulnerable, and to protect farmers and workers along the food chain to nourish communities and stimulate local economies.
WhyHunger continues to call on the federal government to pass comprehensive legislation to ensure low-income families, working people, seniors, veterans, children and those most impacted by the COVID-19 crisis get the nutritional food and support services they need.
As this crisis illuminates just how many Americans are struggling to nourish their families or are just one pay check away from a crisis, it is our hope that this new awareness will strengthen the public and political will for long-term, structural reform to address the inequities and root causes of hunger in the U.S.
Nutritious food is vital to protecting health and wellbeing, especially in this time of global crisis. Act now to ensure that people in need can nourish themselves and their families and to invest in a healthier and more resilient food system.
As we galvanize as a nation to address the immediate nutritional needs and support for each other during this crisis, it is important that we recognize the failures in our systems and institutions that leave so many people struggling in their day to day lives.
Together with our partners and allies who are on the front lines, WhyHunger is working to build a broad-based social movement led by the grassroots to change the systems, policies and institutions that perpetuate hunger and poverty in our world and address the deep inequities and social injustices at the intersection of economic inequality, race, health and the environment.
Find Food Now
WhyHunger’s national Find Food Database, texting service and hotline are available in times of crisis and year-round to help anyone in need of food assistance. If you or someone you know is need of help, visit WhyHunger.org/FindFood, text your zip code to 1-800-548-6479, or if you need further assistance call 1-800-5HUNGRY (1-800-548-6479), to locate free, nutritious food in your community.