The current state of the world is new territory for many of us. As we respond to help slow the spread of COVID-19, routine daily movements are grinding to a halt. Shelves stand empty inside many stores and most restaurant owners have posted ‘Closed’ signs.
Many people are worried about having enough to get through the current crisis.
A dear friend of mine recently shared a post on Facebook that reminded me of what I’m seeing in my local community. Communities are creatively coming together to ensure that some of the most vulnerable members of our society, children, are being cared for.
Seen on a rural road in Rowan Co., NC today while I was driving to a farm to complete an agricultural survey wearing my ag. statistics hat. At first I was surprised to see flashing red lights on this stopped bus, knowing that schools are closed across the state. Then I remembered that school systems have committed to addressing hunger during this time due to the high incidence of student food insecurity. According to the Together Rising close to 22 million children nationwide rely on the public school system in order to eat. And right now, roughly 38.8 million public school students are out of school.
For many of our neighbors, the vulnerability of economic uncertainty and the concern of not having enough food or supplies to last the week or month was and remains a daily reality, exacerbated by the shutdown of daily life and the new significant threats posed by the virus.
Hunger is a serious challenge, even as our attention is focused on the health crisis at hand, and in many ways, it may get worse. What can we do to ensure that the virus that has brought so much of daily life to a grinding halt does not do the same to our work to end hunger?
Click over to our Food and Faith blog to read Tips for Responding to Hunger in a Pandemic.
The work of the Presbyterian Hunger Program is possible thanks to your gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing.