The virus-induced economic downturn has triggered another kind of emergency that is unleashing food insecurity for millions of Americans. Food banks across the country have reported skyrocketingdemand this year as widespread unemployment has crushed low-income households.
According to a new report published by the Community FoodBank of New Jersey (CFBNJ), titled “COVID-19’s Impact on Food Insecurity in New Jersey,” statistical projections from Feeding America were used to anticipate more than one million New Jerseyans could suffer food insecurity this year.
CFBNJ found residents of the Mid-Atlantic state who have limited access to food is expected to surge by more than 50% by the end of the year because of the unrelenting economic downturn. Statewide, people who experienced food insecurity could total 1.2 million, or about 13.5% of the state’s population.
CFBNJ is the state’s most prominent food bank, is warning about a hunger crisis forming in the state, which has surpassed the national average and neighboring states, including Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New York.
New Jersey’s number of food-insecure residents is estimated to increase by 56%, from the pre-pandemic level of 774,000 food-insecure people, higher than the national average of 46%, as well as higher than the 45% rise for both New York and Pennsylvania.
New Jersey is projected to see a greater increase in food insecurity than the US average or neighboring states.