Cooper’s food bank serves eight food trucks a day to those in need. The numbers are so high that they have to ration food. Rhode Island Community Food Bank organizers say one in four people cannot meet their basic food needs. This is the highest since the Great Depression.
According to Feeding America, 54 million people in the United States do not have access to sufficient food. That’s about 13 million more than last year and more than the populations of Texas and Florida combined.
“Today we had a distribution that fed 2,000, and we have these distributions all the time,” Cooper said. “Food banks across the country have seen this unprecedented demand, and we are working as hard as possible to balance the private donations we receive, with the public support to try to make sure people are fed.
In the South, the positivity rate is 11% and the region accounts for about a third of all coronavirus deaths and hospitalizations nationwide, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins data. Texas reported a record high on Tuesday with nearly 14,000 new cases. Cooper told host Shepard Smith that distance learning puts extra stress on parents when it comes to providing food for their children.
“A child would miss 10 meals a week, and if a mother has two to three children in school, she now feels the impact of the cost of this food at home, and without a job, the children are hungry,” explained Cooper. “Schools teach us that children struggle with their education because they don’t have access to good nutrition.
As food insecurity increases, federal funding has been critical with the coronavirus food assistance program, which provided $ 850 million to food banks this year. Cooper said he hopes Congress will act quickly to help families get them out of queues for food banks and grocery stores.
“We just hope Congress acts quickly, the stimulus package needs to help families put food on their tables,” Cooper said.
Cooper said if anyone wanted to help, they should visit FeedingAmerica.org, find their local food bank, and get involved by donating food, volunteering, or making a financial contribution.