Thursday, March 18, 2021

A Year of Feeding Those in Need

This month marks the one-year anniversary of the start of the coronavirus lockdown; that is, the moment when many jobs were first lost and when food and essential products suddenly became hard to find. This table shows how the need for food in our community -- Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the surrounding area -- has grown in the year of the coronavirus. The yellow line shows food distribution totals by Food Gatherers, the Ann Arbor Food bank, from March, 2020, through February, 2021. The green line shows the previous year. The need has been very great, and Food Gatherers’ effectiveness in collecting food and distributing it through their own and through end-user social work organizations has been a huge task.

Food Gatherers writes:
“Since the pandemic began, Food Gatherers has distributed between 700,000 and one million pounds of food each month, a significant increase over the same months in the previous year.”
Our total this year [2020] is an 18.7% increase from last year and the average distribution per day was 21,542 pounds of food!
Hunger in our community, in our state, in the USA, and throughout the world is a great concern, mine as well as that of many others. As the pandemic began and continued, more and more people lost their jobs, increasing their dependence on social services from private and public sources in our community. I have been following these issues, and I have been writing from time to time about the challenges to our society as hunger stalks our land. I have tried to support Food Gatherers and their partner organizations with donations of money. 

I have hope for the near future. Many workers are beginning to find jobs again. Vaccination is providing safety for more people to work and to resume normal lives. School re-openings have given children better access to feeding programs as well as better education. We have a new administration in Washington with a better will towards human needs and with a strong new law offering financial support for those who need it. However, our society still has a lot of work to do in helping the weakest of our communities.

I hope those of my readers who have the means to help others will continue to do so in the coming months. Update to this post: modern food banks have several ways to purchase food at favorable prices. So contributing money, if you can afford to do so, helps them a great deal. In some ways cash contributions are more effective than donating canned and pantry goods, though food banks also welcome food contributions from both individuals and businesses. When more people can safely do so, food banks also have many jobs for volunteers. There are many ways to help!

I wish you safety and good health.

15 comments:

Laurie said...

Such a beautiful encouragement you’ve written,

Jeff the Chef said...

This is so important. Thanks for posting!

IzaBzh said...

I hope the future gets better soon because seeing all these students queing in Paris for food on top of the "usual" people really made me ashamed for our country... We still need to help those who need it after the pandemic is over.

Jeanie said...

Ihope we will be on the upswing. It seems the more I hear of the news and blocking things, the worse it gets.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I am glad you called attention to this crisis. I have contributed to the food bank in the past, but now I have Scott do my shopping (Aldi only), so I don't have anything extra to share.

Ju-Lyn said...

An affirming encouragement for those who have worked hard to help those in need; and a poignant reminder that not everyone has access to basic necessities.

Hurray for all the quiet, unsung heroes who have laboured to care for those in need.

Thanks Mae!

Ju-Lyn
http://touringmybackyard.wordpress.com/

Tandy | Lavender and Lime (http://tandysinclair.com) said...

There was a huge spike in October, can you blog about what caused that? Next week we will have been in lockdown for a year. Our unemployment rate is horrific to say the least. Our major supermarkets have set up feeding schemes to provide food to those in need.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I was just reading Elephant Child's blog. She was telling about the need for sanitary supplies for women. There was mention that food banks are often asked what is most needed and other than food, sanitary supplies and toilet paper are high on the list. It was an eye opener for me.

Iris Flavia said...

Yes, we have containers where you donate to, a church in town has put up an open place for food, clothes, also books and toys. We have re-food, supermarkets that donate, the "Tafel"...
I sit at the PC in a heated condo, whilst outside it´s minus 1C. I know how good my life is, now only a job is missing.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

The church next door has a Blessing Box, and I've watched from my front porch as a stream of cars drive up and take food daily during the pandemic. We happened by the Episcopal Church in our town one Thursday, and we were astonished to see lines of cars in all directions during a food distribution there. Our family friend established a widely used food pantry here in town, and that pantry has been overwhelmed this year.

The need is real.

Tina said...

We have Farm Share here where people can go get a bag of food. It's a mixed bag of canned goods and fresh ingredients, really helps. We just got our vaccines yesterday and I am hopeful we'll get back to some sort of normal now.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

We used to volunteer at our food banks rescue express...they collected leftover (not used leftovers, just “overruns” ) from restaurants and the University dorms and we repackaged it for family use from the food bank. I loved that!

Sherry's Pickings said...

i think things are really going to get better in the not too distant future Mae. With vaccinations and common sense, we can all get past this, globally.

(Diane) bookchickdi said...

I think the pandemic highlighted a lot of societal problems, like hunger, that we need to address. Thanks for this enlightening post.

Beth F said...

Important post