By Senator Kent Williams
Hunger is on the rise and the consequences could be dire!
Approximately 54 million people in America are experiencing food insecurity during this pandemic.
The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture defines food insecurity as limited or uncertain access to adequate food because of economic and social factors.
As incomes continue to fall because of COVID closures, the poorest are the most at risk.
Orders for businesses and schools to close are issued in various cities and states that re-opened a few months ago.
According to Feeding America, in South Carolina, 600,440 people are struggling with hunger – and of them 178,710 are children. People facing hunger in South Carolina are estimated to report needing $291,600,000 more per year to meet their food needs. Consider one in eight struggle with hunger and one in six children struggle with hunger.
Additionally millions of low-income senior citizens face food insecurity. The average cost of a meal in South Carolina is $2.87. Data from Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap 2020 study.
Low-wage jobs cannot be performed at home. School closures are an additional burden on the family and makes it impossible for workers to continue to work. The individuals with the highest risk of becoming ill from the Coronavirus are also the same individuals experiencing food insecurity: people of color and people with chronic illnesses. We know that COVID-19 is not only, a public health crisis but an economic one as well.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 epidemic is worsening. Nearly every state including our state is seeing an increase in the number of cases. Food insecurity may worsen in the upcoming weeks. If you can, donate food to your local food bank. For more information about Harvest Hope Food Banks in your area, visit Harvesthope.org enter your zip code to find a food bank/pantry in your area.
As with all matters concerning state government, I want to hear your opinions and suggestions concerning these issues. Please contact me in my Columbia office located at 602 Gressette Office Building. You can reach me, or a member of my staff in Columbia at (803) 212-6008 or by fax at (803) 212-6011. My district office is located at 1305 North Main Street, Marion, SC 29571, the phone number is (843) 423-8237 and the fax number is (843) 431-6049. You may also email me at [email protected]
As always, I also want to supply you with my business phone number so that you will able to reach me easily at any time. My business phone is (843) 423-3904.
Please use this information to write, call or email me with your suggestions and concerns regarding issues before the Senate and in our community.
By Senator Kent Williams