Food banks soar in demand amid pandemic

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HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) While COVID-19 has affected nearly everyone in some way, people with food insecurities have faced particular challenges. This has created soaring demand for food banks across the region.

Facing Hunger Food Bank is one of those food banks experiencing an increase in demand. With this demand, they’re also facing challenges such as declines in volunteers due to social distancing and charitable donations.

As unemployment has risen, so has the percentage of food insecure households. Much of the demand for food banks came from people who are newly food insecure due to the pandemic.

The National Guard has stepped in to help with the Facing Hunger Food Bank demand. They have also made it possible to continue distributing food boxes safely for both volunteers and those receiving it.

“What I’m hoping out of all of this is those stories of people raising two-year-old grandchildren and can’t get to a pantry …. that we are addressing the deficits of hunger relief and social services when transportation and disability really rise to the forefront.”

Cynthia Kirkhart, executive director of Facing Hunger Food Bank

Kirkhart also mentioned that she is expecting another rise in demand if Congress doesn’t extend federal unemployment benefits.

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