Study: Federal help needed for country to overcome hunger crisis caused by pandemic

hunger nyc
People line up for FreshDirect food boxes during a food giveaway in Harlem on Oct. 9, 2020 in New York City. Photo credit Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — New York City is slowly overcoming the pandemic as more businesses reopen and more and more people continue to return to normal life.

However, the city is still struggling to solve the hunger crisis that was worsened by the coronavirus pandemic.

The demand for emergency food soared throughout the pandemic as more and more businesses were forced to close, and workers were laid off.

Charities and food providers did respond but, they cannot be the long-term solution, according to a study by WhyHunger and Duke University.

“The study shows that food banks and pantries cannot sustain the food charity approach,” says Noreen Springsteen, executive director of WhyHunger.

She stresses that food banks are barely able to feed everyone in need now, and more volunteers and donors would be desperately needed if the crisis continues as it has been.

“We're still going to need people to help support food banks, pantries and more importantly shift the root causes,” Springsteen said.

The country might be divided, but Springsteen says the government has to step up.

“We cannot let people go hungry,” she said. “There is a long history of solving hunger through bipartisan legislation.”

She says federal support during the pandemic has been critical, and it will continue to be important to overcome the crisis further.

“One of the things we've seen during the pandemic and, hopefully will sustain, is the power of the federal government,” she said.

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