ARLINGTON, VA — Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger relief organization, predicted this would happen as millions of Americans lost their jobs, their paychecks and even their businesses because of the coronavirus pandemic: Hunger is an urgent problem for about 19,000 people in Arlington.

You can help. Patch and Feeding America teamed last summer to address the growing hunger crisis in America, connecting readers with the organization’s 200 member food banks that serve 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, and providing an easy way to donate money to help their neighbors.

Now through Dec. 31, we’re encouraging readers to make a tax-deductible contribution to Feeding America in the Patch Holiday Food Drive. Every $1 given to the organization buys 10 meals.

Local resources include:

Feeding America predicted last summer that 50 million people, including 17 million children, could face hunger by year’s end because of the pandemic. Feeding America projects the food insecurity rate in Arlington will rise to 8.4 percent in 2020, up from 5.4 percent in 2018.

Feeding America says that 80 percent of its food banks — or 4 in 5 — are serving more people than they were at the same time last year. With the pandemic worsening during the holiday season, many people who never before worried about how they’d pay for a holiday meal are turning to food banks for the first time.

From the beginning of the pandemic in March, Feeding America distributed 4.2 million meals — enough to provide every U.S. resident with breakfast, lunch and dinner for just over four days.

In the first four months of the pandemic, 4 in 10 people were first-time visitors to food banks, according to Feeding America.

How To Support The Patch Holiday Food Drive

Patch has teamed with Feeding America to help raise awareness on behalf of the millions of Americans facing hunger. Feeding America, which supports 200 food banks across the country, estimates that in 2020, more than 50 million Americans will not have enough nutritious food to eat due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. This is a Patch social good project; Feeding America receives 100 percent of donations. Find out how you can donate in your community or find a food pantry near you.Article Courtesy

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