November 26th – Thanksgiving, a traditional Western holiday, is on November 26. On this day when it is supposed to enjoy turkey food and reunite with their families, a large number of Americans still can’t eat.
CNN published a long article entitled “This Thanksgiving Day, the hunger crisis in the United States” on the 25th, taking the story of the American people’s Stas as an example, revealing that a large number of Americans face multiple crises such as hunger, epidemic and racial problems during the festival.
American Regina Status lives in an apartment in the Bronx, New York. Because of the multiple tortures of poverty, hunger and cold, she has been receiving food relief assistance from the Agatha House Foundation for the past few months.
In the United States, there are many similar situations with Stas. CNN said, “50 million Americans do not have enough food this year, partly because of the coronavirus pandemic.” According to Feeding America, the largest hunger relief organization in the United States, the number of hungry Americans is trending to the figure of the previous recession, when 56 million Americans were food insecure.
Starz revealed that she didn’t enjoy the turkey this Thanksgiving. “I don’t even know where it came from. But you know, I have to work hard every day.” Since Starz is not eligible to apply for unemployment assistance, she now has to live on the so-called “survival fund”, which is the money her husband received when he died of cancer a few years ago. Originally, the money was used to go to college for children, but now it is used to pay bills.
This summer, Starz used to live on multiple relief food distribution offices, but earlier in the fall, she had to rely on the weekly relief of “Agatha House” because the car was unusable. This week, Agatha House has Thanksgiving baskets for families who have no food to eat. It is equipped with fresh fruit, a Thanksgiving turkey, and a small gift – filled with candles and picture frames.
Despite the hardships, Stas shared Thanksgiving food with old neighbors who were equally in need: “Even if we didn’t get food from the foundation, or we just eat a normal chicken every day, it’s a blessing in itself if we can eat it alive.”
“Americans’ demand for relief food has increased by 100% since the coronavirus pandemic, and there are many new faces in the relief team,” said Janet Joseph Greenaway, founder of the foundation. “Many of them are here to make ends meet, and others just to tide over the difficulties.”
CNN mentioned that the Bronx is the district with the highest number of coronavirus cases and unemployment among the five districts in New York. According to Feeding America, the 15th Congressional District of the Bronx has the highest rate of food insecurity among children in the country. Now, the city’s public schools are only open in remote areas, which puts a higher burden on families to provide meals.
“Before the outbreak, 22 million children relied on free lunches, and when schools closed, it meant not only that children faced academic challenges, but also that they had no food to eat,” said Claire Babino Fontnot, CEO of Feed America.
At the same time, the situation of minorities is even less optimistic. Hispanic and black families make up the majority of the Bronx population. Before the outbreak, black Americans were 2.5 times more likely to live in food-sufficent families than whites and Hispanics were twice as likely to live in food-sufficent families, according to Feed America.
In the organization’s revised 2020 food insecurity projections, 18 of the 25 counties with the highest food insecurity rates were mostly black residents. On the other hand, people of color have twice as much prevalence as other populations, except for the presence of potentially deadly diseases, food, and safety factors.
In addition, although USDA passed the CARES Act in April, allocating $850 million to cover the administrative costs and food procurement of the Food Relief Service, Feeding America said that the need for additional federal assistance will increase in the coming months: “between our food and actual needs” The gap is about 8 billion meals.
“For millions of Americans, this Thanksgiving is really different than ever.” CNN also pointed out at the end of the article that “the incoming new government will take over the hunger crisis.”