RICHMOND, Va. -- Part the trauma brought on by COVID-19 and the resulting lockdown, is the frightening rise in food insecurity that the loss of work has brought on: families, and especially children, are not getting enough to eat.
A new report suggests that nationally, as many as one in five children is going hungry.
Doug Pick, the president and CEO of FeedMore, the Central Virginia food bank, joined Bill Fitzgerald via Zoom last week to discuss the status of food insecurity in Central VA, and more importantly, how we can rebound and make sure every child is eating enough, especially because the regular meals once offered at school, are now more challenging to obtain.
"It's challenging to say the least and it has gotten worse," said Pick. "Basically another 93,000 people in Central Virginia have become food insecure, on top of the 193,000 to begin with."
So what to do? "The first step is acceptance, because many of the newly unemployed never thought they'd be in this position," said Pick.
Pick then goes on to say that anyone suddenly finding themselves suddenyl in need, should go to feedmore.org and click on "Get Help." "There's a hunger hotline, you can find an agency, a pantry near you. So call that hotline, and they can get you started signing up for SNAP," Pick said, referring to the federally-funded, Supplemental Food and Assistance Program.
"SNAP and our grocery stores are going to solve this issue fully," Pick said. "Food banks are going to do all that we can, but it is going to take something of a much larger scale. That is the solution and folks really need to get behind that. It's best for this country and for the folks who find themselves in this untenable position."
Virginia Together: The Rebound Richmond campaign is here to help. Find information on who is hiring, investigations into unemployment payment issues, financial advice on making ends meet, and mental health advice on managing the pressures. These stories will be featured often on CBS 6 News and can be found by clicking this link.