Food insecurity spikes for holiday amid COVID-19 surge

Food insecurity spike for holiday amid COVID-19 surge
Photo credit Getty Images

EVANSTON, Ill. (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Alongside the current surge in COVID-19 cases across the country, food banks are reporting spikes in need heading into the holiday, presenting an increasingly dire situation for many American families.

“With Thanksgiving approaching and COVID cases surging, we are seeing a new spike in hunger – over and above the elevated levels we have been seeing for months," explained Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, director of the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University.

An expert in poverty and economics and a leading researcher focusing on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Schanzenbach is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. She created a new tool for visualizing food insecurity data across the nation.

With the online tool, users can find data from April 23 onward from the U.S. Census Household Pulse Survey on weekly rates of food insecurity for respondents with and without children, which can also be sorted by race and ethnicity for selected states.