Addressing food insecurity during COVID-19 pandemic

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URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — Food insecurity is an ongoing problem for many Illinois families and the coronavirus has been making matters worse for people in need.

Over the summer, food banks and different organizations teamed up to make things like outdoor mobile markets and food distributions possible. Now, some organizations are preparing for the tough winter months ahead and how that could affect food insecurity even more.

People at the Eastern Illinois Foodbank serve a large area across central Illinois. They said food insecurity has increased in the area by 25-30 percent since the beginning of the pandemic.

Colder weather could make it harder to put on food distributions and meet that need. “Our projections say that we should expect anywhere…to go from 119,000 people facing food insecurity in our service area to 165,000 people facing food insecurity in our service area,” said Molly Delaney, Eastern Illinois Foodbank.

Foodbank leaders said monetary donations would be most useful right now. They could disperse that money to partner foodbanks across the area so they can buy things like tents, shovels and hand-warmers for outdoor distributions this winter.

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