More Americans turned to food banks amid economic impact of pandemic

As the economic impact from the coronavirus impact continues to be felt, more Americans are turning to food banks — many for the first time, according to Consumer Reports.

In a new national survey, Consumer Reports found that 19% of American grocery shoppers have used either a food pantry, food bank or community food distribution at some point during the pandemic.

For around half of them, it was the first time using those services.

The survey also found that this food insecurity affected people of color more heavily.

Around 35% of Black Americans used a free food service in the last several months. For 36% of that number, it was the first time ever — around 28% of Black Americans said they had used a food bank in 2019.

Among Hispanic populations, 22% said they have received free food since the pandemic began and it was the first time for 61% of those respondents.

White Americans have seen significantly lower food insecurity, but still 15% said they have used a free food service amid the pandemic. Around 50% said it was for the first time.

In the D.C. region, the Catholic Charities of Arlington recently have put out the call asking those who are able to donate to one of their food banks, as demand has stayed constant while donations have slowed.

The following pantries are accepting donations:

Donations can also be made to the Capital Area Food Bank.

WTOP’s John Domen contributed to this report.

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Zeke Hartner

Zeke Hartner is a digital writer/editor who has been with WTOP since 2017. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Political Science program and an avid news junkie.

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