While some people continue to argue that wearing a mask infringes on their freedom, or that Covid-19 is a hoax, global food prices are rising. It is unfortunate that so many are distracted by conspiracy theories and other stupidity because rising food prices and other pressures upon the food supply will lead to widespread hunger and increased food insecurity. It is time for the adults in the room to start focusing on how to avoid mass starvation.
Various environmental disasters have collided with the Covid-19 global pandemic to create a food emergency. The result is that millions of people will go hungry this winter–even in the United States. Food insecurity existed before the global pandemic began, but now the situation is worse.
According to Feeding America , 54 million Americans, including 18 million children, will experience food insecurity in 2020. The numbers of American children that are going hungry is staggering. 1 in 4 children, or 25% of children need greater access to food.
One of the reasons why some people have pressured for schools to reopen is because many children depend on school lunches to obtain food. When schools are closed, the most vulnerable children may lose all access to food. America must face the most tragic revelation of all–that parents must choose between keeping their children home to starve or sending them to school to get sick.
Simply sending the kids back to school, however, is not the answer. Thus far, the return to school has led to greater spread of Covid-19. In the short time since the school year began, at least 4 teachers have died. As well, many students have become ill and some schools have had to re-close. Clearly, simply sending children back to school is not an answer to the current crisis.
The more people that become ill, the worse food insecurity will become. Since the Covid-19 pandemic started, there has been a 50% increase in the number of Americans that are seeking assistance from food banks. Food Pantries have noticed that as many as 4 in 10 people were visiting food banks for the first time. This demand for food assistance is overwhelming the supply and Feeding America believes they are 8 billion meals short of what they require to meet the need of hungry Americans.
Fixing the food insecurity problem is difficult and governments often to fail invest in adequate programs that will alleviate poverty. Since the pandemic began, food banks have struggled to increase their supply of food, and have had to absorb increased costs for additional staff and warehouse space.
“If the shipping container gets loaded, and if the ship isn’t abandoned at sea, and if they let it dock, and if it clears customs without being seized by [federal authorities], and if we can find trucking, we’ll have your rice there in six weeks.”The Wall Street Journal
When the second wave hits, and it WILL hit, there will be another round of lockdowns, supply chain clogs, mass unemployment, and increased need for food assistance. Will there be any lessons learned from the first wave? How can disaster be avoided?