COLLEGE STATION (WBAP/KLIF News) – The coronavirus pandemic has devastated food security gains in Texas and across the United States.
According to a recent study by Texas A & M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the pandemic erased two decades of progress.
The university’s Dr. Patrick Stover said food insecurity was more manageable before the virus hit in March.
“At a little bit of over ten percent of households feeling food insecure but with the pandemic that number has more than doubled. The burden is being felt by some of our most vulnerable populations,” he said.
Research conducted by Northwestern University shows food insecurity rates in April and May for white, Hispanic and African Americans were 18%, 32% and 36% respectively.
Dr. Stover said the disparities stem from what industries were hit the hardest by the virus.
“Millions of people have lost employment and again a lot those positions came out of the service industry where a large majority of our underrepresented minority populations were employed,” he said.
The situation is worse with households that have children under 18 in them.
They’re experiencing food insecurity at a rate of 35% with many families turning to food banks and other non-profits for help.
“The work that’s being done by the producers… getting that needed resources and food into food banks and delivering this to these families especially children has been remarkable to see… but clearly we have challenges right now,” said Dr. Stover.
Click here to read reports from Texas A & M’s Agriculture and Food Policy Center about the impact of COVID-19 on agriculture and the food supply.
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