Demand doubles at local food pantries amid continuing pandemic financial strain

Written by on December 14, 2020

Demand doubles at local food pantries amid continuing pandemic financial strain

By Chloe Nouvelle

December 14, 2020

Photo | Chloe Nouvelle / WLVR

The poverty rate in the U.S. has steadily increased since the summer according to the University of Chicago and Notre Dame. And the effects are being felt in the Lehigh Valley, where, as WLVR’s Chloe Nouvelle reports, demand at local food pantries has increased dramatically.

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As of October, 11.4% of Americans were living below the poverty line. That means the income for a family of four is less than $26,200 a year.

Erin Connelly of the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley says the pandemic has caused more people in the region to seek out support. 

“We know that locally, food pantries are seeing over double their usual volumes. And we know that many clients are visiting food pantries for the first time. We also know that there’s over 800 households in Lehigh and Northampton County that have received some eviction prevention support,” said Connelly.

The financial fallout from the pandemic is affecting how much kids have to eat. The brookings institution found that as of June, quote “an unprecedented number of children” are food insecure and that roughly 14 million children are not getting enough to eat.  

As more people slip into poverty, it’s hard for experts to estimate just how many will recover financially even after the pandemic ends.

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