We all know someone or have read about someone who is struggling with food insecurity as the coronavirus pandemic has touched us all during the past year. It might be you. For many of us the pandemic has only disrupted the way we work, how we shop, or how we gather with friends and family. For others it has disrupted their ability to put food on their family’s table. The number of Iowans experiencing food insecurity has grown over the past year with 1 in 7 of us being food insecure. That number is even higher for our children.
As we near the one-year anniversary of the start of the pandemic, one thing is clear: The problem of food insecurity isn’t getting any better and the challenges we’ve faced over the past year will continue into the new year and beyond. But along the way we’ve also seen resilience as those working on the front lines of food insecurity have adapted and innovated to find new ways to get food to those who need it most. As we approach the anniversary of the pandemic, we will talk to experts, front-line workers and others to learn about the challenges they continue to face and seek ways you can help to ensure that no Iowan has to go hungry.
Among the questions tackled:
- With the innovation and adaptation that’s occurred over the past year, what has worked and what hasn’t?
- Has the demand you saw early on in the pandemic leveled off? Do you see signs it is improving or getting worse?
- What are projections for how long this level of demand will continue?
- Is there concern that the focus that’s been placed on food insecurity will fade once things do begin to return to pre-pandemic levels?
- What are some of the challenges you see facing food banks in the coming months to continue to sustain current demand?
- What are some solutions or actions that people can take to help food banks and pantries maintain current levels of service for the long haul?
Here’s a clip from the event, from the question, “What has been the biggest shift made in the past year in the fight against food insecurity?”