hunger

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, Jesus Gonzalez was about a year into starting a Cuban food catering and "pop-up" business in Lexington, Ky. It's like "a food truck, but without a truck," he says.

His steadiest gig was setting up tables with a spread of Cuban food at local breweries so people could eat while quaffing pints. But then all that shut down. And he says things aren't back to normal enough yet for the breweries to bring him back.

Six months into schools' pandemic-driven experiment in distance learning, much has been said (and debated) about whether children are learning. But the more urgent question, for the more than 30 million kids who depend on U.S. schools for free or reduced-price meals, is this:

Are they eating?

The answer, based on recent data and interviews with school nutrition leaders and anti-hunger advocates across the country, is alarming.

The number of people undernourished or chronically hungry worldwide could rise from 690 million to 820 million because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report from the humanitarian group CARE.

As coronavirus unemployment benefits come to an end - and as hurricane season picks up - Florida food pantries are bracing for another influx of people in need.

Feeding Tampa Bay, the food pantry for 10 counties in the greater Tampa Bay region and beyond, has more than doubled the number of people it provids meals to, in large part because of the coronavirus pandemic, said the organization's spokeswoman Shannon Hannon-Oliviero.

As the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the state, tens of thousands of Florida residents face the end of temporary unemployment benefits they had been receiving from the federal government.

The coronavirus pandemic could push up to 132 million people into hunger by the end of 2020, according to a new report from the United Nations.

"As progress in fighting hunger stalls, the COVID-19 pandemic is intensifying the vulnerabilities and inadequacies of global food systems," UNICEF said in a statement.

Officials in New York City say they plan to deliver more than a million free meals a day beginning next week. The number of people going hungry in the five boroughs has risen sharply during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We're dealing with an unprecedented crisis," Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday morning during his daily briefing. "Before the coronavirus, we thought somewhere around a million people were food insecure and needed food. Now we think that number is 2 million or more."

The parent company of Jacksonville-based Florida Blue is asking for ideas on how to end hunger.

The Children’s Home Society of Florida has announced it is hosting a “Farm Share Food Giveaway” event at Wilkinson Jr. High School in Middleburg on Thursday, Aug. 9, which is expected to help feed more than 1,000 Clay County families with fresh produce and groceries.

More hungry families in Jacksonville will get the food they need thanks to Feeding Northeast Florida and a $30,000 grant from United Healthcare.

A Tampa restaurateur is trying to ensure that no one in Tampa Bay goes without a place to have a Thanksgiving meal.

In Florida, 15 percent of families don’t know where they’re going to get their next meal. When you look at children alone, that number increases to almost a quarter who are food insecure, according to Feeding America, one of the largest networks of food banks in the country.

There's a small-scale charity movement starting to take hold in neighborhoods across the country. Think of those "little free library" boxes, but with a twist: These are small pantries stocked with free food and personal care items like toothbrushes and diapers for people in need.

They're found near churches, outside businesses and in front of homes. Maggie Ballard, who lives in Wichita, Kan., calls hers a "blessing box."

  It’s a problem that affects 700,000 people in the ten-county Tampa Bay area: food insecurity.

Thomas Mantz, the Executive Director of the group Feeding Tampa Bay says food insecurity is when people like you and me don’t have consistent access to food due to a lack of money or other resources. 

Nearly a quarter of Gadsden County residents don't know where their next meal is coming from. Leon County is close behind with 22 percent of residents classified as "food insecure". That's according a recent report from the group, Feeding America. The organization's study shows hunger is widespread in the Big Bend.

In Sunlit Paradise, Seniors Go Hungry

May 28, 2015
Ariel Min/PBS NewsHour

It wasn’t until the Maffuccis found themselves living on cups of coffee, and coffee alone, that they finally called a food pantry for help.

The couple had sold their suburban New Jersey home where they had raised three children and set out to pursue the glossy dream of an easy-going retirement in sunny southwest Florida.

But Mina and Angelo Maffucci quickly ran out of money—overtaken by illness, bad luck and an economic crisis that claimed their dream home in Naples to foreclosure. They soon found themselves staring at an empty cupboard.