Some households amongst minority groups have been disproportionately affected by the hunger crisis, driving a substantial share of Washington’s children and adolescents to experience severe disruptions in their eating habits. Doctors are warning this could mark the physical and intellectual development of a considerable part of the next generation of Americans. In this video, we bring updated data to expose this harsh reality that has been dangerously spreading across the country.
Since the beginning of the current economic meltdown, a disturbing increase in the number of Washington state residents facing food insecurity doesn’t stop to scale up. Projections indicate that Washington State’s food insecure population will quadruplicate as a result of the 2020 economic downturn.
Considering that 80 percent of jobs are currently at risk and another surge in viral cases is now unfolding, 2.2 million people could experience food insecurity in Washington State. This year nearly 500,000 individuals were newly affected.
The three largest counties in Washington – King, Pierce, and Snohomish – represent over 50 percent of the total food-insecure population in the State. While nine counties out of 39 are home to roughly 80 percent of all food-insecure households.
Right now, one out of 10 residents of the metropolitan D.C. region is food insecure, but by January 2021, approximately 1 in 3 individuals could face the same instability in their eating habits. Some groups had their lives critically afflicted throughout this turbulent time. For instance, research showed that people of color and low-income, vulnerable communities, and populations, such as seniors, children, people experiencing homelessness, and undocumented immigrants have been disproportionately affected by the hunger crisis.
Furthermore, D.C. has 6.5 square miles of food deserts overall, which is about 11 percent of D.C.’s total area. The massive unemployment rates, plus the absence of enhanced government aid, and the intensification of longstanding racial and economic inequities are also factors of influence when it comes to disruptions in eating habits.
Washingtons’s food pantries have been overwhelmed by demand and now they’re set to face further challenges as the holiday season is right at the corner. Food banks used to receive donations from retailers. However, this year, retailers donations have dropped since Americans have been buying their food from grocery stores more than they have in the past, and due to supply chain disruptions witnessed so far, many retailers don’t have any surplus inventory to give away.
In March, after consumers started to panic-buy and hoard food products, within the span of one week, the donations fell by 75 percent since grocery stores started to stock up and hold inventory for shoppers.
More concerningly, 28.6 percent or nearly one-third of all-state residents facing meal instability are teenagers and children. The shocking increase of roughly 10% compared to last year emphasizes how the tragic hunger crisis can influence the physical and intellectual development of the next generation.
Doctors have been warning that the lack of nutritious meals in developing-ages can have lasting effects, both physically and psychologically, which implicates that food-insecure children may not be able to evolve as others who have access to proper diets even after their situation improves.
This isn’t only a hunger crisis, as it is a housing and an income crisis, raising concerns about how an economic recovery can take place while 11% of the American population is on the brink of famine. The Food Research and Action Center published a report announcing that the number of people in the US experiencing a persistent lack of food sometimes or often skyrocketed to above 29 million people in July.
In times when social and economic misery continuously grows, budgets get tight and it becomes harder to escape food insecurity. Since our leaders and those in privileged positions seem to insist on keep looking the other way, the cost of inaction will be very high.