After experiencing the impact of hurricanes, floods, fires, 9/11 and the Great Recession, I couldn’t imagine anything more devastating. COVID-19 has surpassed all of those disasters. The attached charts provide a glimpse of how food insecurity during COVID-19 compares with the Great Recession and 2018.
A new study shows a likely increase of 49% in the number of people who are hungry. That’s an additional 214,110 people in the six-county area of Central Florida. Even more shocking and disturbing, 214,690 children are going hungry. If you lined up those kids shoulder to shoulder along the side of I-4, that line would stretch from Orlando to Daytona Beach…and back again.
We are working diligently to provide more food to Central Floridians in need. We have been distributing enough food for 300,000 meals each day since mid-March. We anticipate the need to remain high through the end of 2020 and gradually decline in early 2021 but be at a slightly higher level than “normal” times. And that’s a hopeful outlook.
Thank you for your support, you continue to make a huge difference in hundreds of thousands of lives.
President / CEO
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will have a devastating impact on people facing hunger across the country and Central Florida according to a new study by Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization. This study is the first of its kind to explore how food insecurity rates at the local level may increase in 2020 due to COVID-19.
The report analyzes food insecurity rates for the overall population and children by state, county, and congressional district. Pre-pandemic, here in Central Florida 436,790 people, including 132,940 children, did not have adequate access to nutritious food to live a healthy life. However, this new study demonstrates that the number of food-insecure individuals will likely grow by 49%. That means approximately 650,900 people (1 in 6 people) may experience food insecurity in 2020, including 214,690 children (1 in 3 children).
Click here to learn more about the study and to view an interactive map.