Millions of hungry Americans turn to food banks for 1st time

National News

Jayden Messick, 9, helps his parents, Brian and Airis Messick, prepare lunch at their apartment in Anchorage, Alaska, on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020. The Messicks have had to turn to food banks after both lost their jobs in the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Airris, who just turned 30, found work in August, ironically, at the state unemployment office. “I hear people’s stories all day,” she says. “I listen to moms cry about not having money to take care of their kids. My heart aches for the people who get denied.” (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)

As a year marked by coronavirus nears an end, millions of Americans are depending on food banks to stave off hunger. Feeding America, the nation’s largest anti-hunger organization, has distributed 4.2 billion meals in an 8-month period.

That’s an unprecedented pace in the group’s history.

An Associated Press analysis of most of the group’s food banks found a nearly 57 percent increase in food distribution compared with last year.  

Experts say Latinos, Blacks, and households with children and women are among those at greatest risk of hunger.

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