Most US households are "food secure," meaning they have consistent access to enough food for healthy, active living. However, some households lack access to adequate food due to a lack of money or other resources. These homes are called "food insecure."
Midwest Food Bank turns to the US Department of Agriculture's annual report on household food security in the United States to glean insight. Even with the Covid crisis, the prevalence of food insecurity did not grow from 2019 to 2020.
MFB did see the need increase, but we also experienced a significant investment, both public and private, in fighting hunger. MFB is humbled by the increase in food donations, financial contributions, and volunteers. Even more striking is the sustained level of support we have received in 2021.
In 2020, at least 60 million people turned to food pantries and other private food assistance programs due to food insecurity as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. That is an increase from 35 million in 2019. For many, it was a first-time visit to a local food pantry.
The problem received national attention, with federal and local governments distributing new resources to people. Local communities across the US saw an increased effort from charitable organizations. This was made possible by increased giving from those who were able.
"Thanks to the support of our family of volunteers, donors, and nonprofit partners, we were able to provide for the increased need," says Eric Hodel, COO/CFO of Midwest Food Bank. "We look forward with hope to continuing our mission in 2022."