Tackling Food Insecurity Among Children and Families
While some aspects of normal life are slowly returning, including schools reopening, more than a year after the start of the pandemic our community continues to bear the brunt of the fallout. A 2020 Feeding America report noted that, prior to the pandemic, Latinos were almost twice as likely to live in food insecure households, as their non-Hispanic white counterparts (15.8% compared to 8.1%). And research from the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems underscored that COVID-19 exacerbated an ongoing national crisis in food security and nutrition.
Children who relied on school-based free or reduced-priced breakfast and lunch didn’t know where their next nutritious meal would come from. While other families had the option to stock up on food or buy on-line during the crisis, most families participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) didn’t have this option since benefits of this federal program are allocated monthly and digital access is extremely low or not present in many households enrolled.
In the face of our community’s unprecedented need, exacerbated by long-standing racial inequities, we called on you to help us respond. You helped us establish the Esperanza Hope Fund to mobilize dollars out to the UnidosUS Affiliate Network—nonprofit, community-based organizations across the country, on the ground, meeting the challenges head on.
UnidosUS Affiliates worked to ensure families had access to food, either by setting up food pantries at their community centers, helping their clients enroll in SNAP, or guiding them to where they could feed their families. Thanks to the remarkable investment of donors and supporters like you, UnidosUS bolstered our crucial efforts to address food insecurity during the COVID-19 crisis.
In Kansas City, Kansas, Affiliate El Centro assisted clients applying for SNAP and the Pandemic EBT (electronic benefits transfer) card so families, like Mrs. Triminio’s, could put food on the table. When Mrs. Triminio was diagnosed with COVID-19 and spent five weeks in intensive care connected to a ventilator, El Centro provided her family with healthy produce and two months of rent while she was being treated. Thankfully, Mrs. Triminio is fully recovered now, and is grateful for the support that her family received during one of the most difficult moments of her life—support that you made possible!
From our individual donors to foundation supporters to corporate partners, every investment—at every level—makes a difference in the lives of thousands of children and families experiencing food insecurity. Thank you for your investment!