COVID: Child Hunger

The coronavirus outbreak has upended the way we live, work, and interact with one another. “Work-from-home,” school closings, job furloughs, and limited re-openings have required all of us to change our everyday routines and practices, impacting nearly all aspects of family and public life.  

Low income families in Hampton Roads and throughout Tidewater have been faced with an unprecedented challenge: how to put food on the table in the midst of these troubling times. As of March of this year, the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank reported that more than 17,000 children on the Greater Virginia Peninsula were “food insecure.” In other words, as of March nearly 15 percent of children in Virginia Peninsula communities did not know whether they would get food from one day to the next. This number has only increased over the course of the Covid-19 Pandemic, with school lunch programs unable to provide meals to children in need, and the need for assistance with food insecurity rising from 9.4% to 22% as a result of the pandemic.  

Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA), as Chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor, and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to reverse its decision and take action to provide healthy meals to students for the duration of the school year. As many as 17 million children did not get enough to eat this summer, so as a result of their efforts, the USDA reversed its previous position and will extend summer meal waivers until the end of the year.

In addition to the school lunch programs, the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank provides additional programs for children in need and others in our community facing food insecurity. PWHD is a longtime supporter of the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank. Established in 1986, the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank has served Virginians struggling with hunger in the cities of Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson, and Williamsburg, and the counties of Gloucester, James City, Mathews, Surry, and York. PWHD has also participated in the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank’s Legal Food Frenzy since its inception and is continuing its support of the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank by participating in the 2020 Virginia Peninsula Foodbank’s Legal Food Frenzy.  PWHD continues to support the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank, and we hope you will as well. Contributions can be made directly to the Foodbank here:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/pwhd

No child should have to go hungry in our community.

 

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