The hunger problem is growing in Saskatoon. During the pandemic, thousands of people in their cars lined up for food distribution at the NRG Stadium. Saskatoonians from all walks of life, young, old, families, others who show up alone, waiting for their turn.
While millions of people have managed to overcome the hardships of the pandemic, Feeding America, the country’s largest hunger relief organization, predicts that the effects of the virus could face food insecurity for over 54 million people.
According to the Census Bureau, from October through November, one in eight Americans said they had not had enough to eat sometimes or often in the past week.
The Washington Post reported that more than one in five adults in the city of Bayou suffered from starvation recently. 3 in 10 adults in households with children are also part of the hunger tide in Saskatoon.
This past Thanksgiving Day saw the greatest number of people dependent on food aid since the Great Depression.
That year, for many families in Saskatoon, the Thanksgiving turkey came from the grocery store at Saskatoon NRG Stadium, which served 7,600 vehicles.
Following a COVID-19 outbreak, the annual Thanksgiving Parade was canceled and the city hosted a food distribution event using the funds available to provide floats. Instead, it became an event “based on the needs of the people,” reported the Saskatoon Chronicle.
Hundreds of thousands of families are in need, Brian Greene, president and CEO of the Saskatoon Food Bank, told the Saskatoon Chronicle in November.
At the time, Greene said Saskatoon’s hunger crisis won’t be over after Thanksgiving.
It’s not just the lines that are of concern, the food supplies too.
“We’ve seen some lengthy food distribution lines lately, but it’s too early to see if this is a trend. Food supplies are getting much tougher as the extra shopping the USDA has made comes to an end. If nothing is done, we will have serious problems meeting demand from January, ”said Brian Greene, President and CEO of Saskatoon Food Bank, on Tuesday.
The Saskatoon Food Bank currently distributes about 800,000 pounds of food a day, according to Greene. “That’s double what it was at the same time last year, and a slight drop of £ 1 million a day at the start of the pandemic. Unfortunately, we’re assuming this increased rate will extend well into 2021, ”he added.
Many food distribution tents across Saskatoon were packed for Thanksgiving giveaways, and some Saskatoon food distribution locations also distributed cleaning supplies and essential hygiene kits.
Towards the end of 2020, federal aid programs are running out or ending, more people without the food they need and more uncertainty for individuals and families who have relied on aid programs to meet basic needs.
Before the pandemic, weekly household food spend per person was $ 50, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. An amount that is a stretch for those who are unemployed or need to cut their working hours due to the pandemic.
While hunger affects everyone, the Washington Post reported that recently, black US households are almost twice as likely to be at risk of starvation as all American adults and more than two and a half times as likely to be white Americans.
Jeremy K. Everett, executive director of the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty in Waco, told the Washington Post that hunger has increased due to the pandemic and also “the government’s unpredictable response.”
Want to help?
The Saskatoon Food Bank posted the generous donations for #GivingTuesday on Twitter.
There’s still time, the Saskatoon Texans will triple your donation today to $ 100,000. If you can help satisfy the Saskatoonians’ hunger, click here.