From all the unsettling things we have seen so far in 2020, to witness a massive amount of families having to count their coins to find money to minimally feed themselves is one of the most tragic situations America has undergone over the past few decades. Many Americans were forced to change their lifestyle dramatically, cutting their food budgets due to a lack of income, while many others are now only having one or two meals a day, and demands at food banks around the country are spiking like never before.
Yesterday, Bloomberg has published a report that could only be defined as one of the most devastating situations this country has ever faced. It reveals the struggles of a number of rural workers that expend the day inside plantations amongst an abundant amount of food that they can no longer pay for. Jessica Traxler is one fo these workers. Surrounded by food that she couldn’t afford, and “sitting in a faded-out Chevy sedan one July morning in southern Minnesota, she looked out at corn stalks, lush green, as far as the eye could see. A few miles to the east, a mill was pumping out flour. Just beyond it, a farm grew peppers, beans, and berries. To the north, there were dairies, one after the other. To the south, a huge pork plant. Grain elevators, poultry yards, cheese plants—all stood just a short drive away,” describes the article authored by Catarina Saraiva, Carolina Gonzalez, and Peyton Forte.
If there is a place that portrays how atrocious America’s hunger problem has become during the sanitary outbreak, it is both sadly and ironically in the middle of the breadbasket that supplies food from coast to coast. It is being projected that the ranks of Americans fighting hunger are going to increase by 45% this year, meaning that over 50 million are likely to face starvation or at least severe food deprivation until the end of 2020.
The story describes that “Traxler, her husband, and six children are among them. She had come to this spot, an empty school parking lot in the town of Mankato, to collect free boxes of food staples: milk and apples and carrots. Hundreds of Minnesotans waited in line ahead of her for hours.“It’s been hard,” she said. “We’ve had to dramatically change how we eat.”
According to Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization, about one-third of those relying on food shelves, large-scale and emergency food distributions at this moment are in such situation for the first time in their lives, just as Traxler and her family, after losing her job due to shutdowns related to the health crisis. In some parts of Minnesota, that number can escalate up to 70%. Now, the roughest debate regarding deeply-rooted systemic inequalities is about one of the most basic divides: who will eat well and who will go hungry.
Millions of families are already unassisted and don’t have enough to eat. Over 60 million jobs were lost and every day it goes by this number only rises. Even though you might think that your job is safe, and hopefully it is, millions of others also thought their jobs were safe right before they were let go. With that said, we want you to know that our aim is not at all to discourage you. As Michael Snyder describes what is on his latest book “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America”: “there is hope in understanding what is happening, there is hope in getting prepared” and we say there is hope in trusting that there is still a way out of this mess. Stockpile your food, gather your supplies, join forces with your friends and neighbors. Keep informed, and most importantly, protect yourself. To be prepared is to be able to face the harsh reality and still keep your mind strong enough to face hardships resourcefully.
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