Charity and philanthropy will continue to do everything we can during and in the wake of this prolonged crisis because that is our duty and our calling. But Congress is the only body with the ability and legislative power to provide necessary relief to hurting Ohioans and Americans. This crisis cannot wait until the next Congress – it will be too late.
Three leading poverty economists this month published a paper with the National Bureau of Economic Research saying that rates of food insecurity have nearly tripled during the pandemic despite federal relief assistance.
"For the past six months, an extraordinary group of men and women have sacrificed each day to serve their neighbors and friends struggling to access and afford food amid the pandemic,” said Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director, Ohio Association of Foodbanks. “We are so deeply thankful that the Ohio National Guard will extend its support of this mission for the next three months as we plan together for what's to come in 2021.”
September is Hunger Action Month and, in 2020, it arrives with unparalleled urgency. For families facing the threat of hunger, the debilitating reality that they might not be able to put adequate, nutritious food on the table because the money isn’t there and the rent is due — every day is a matter of urgency.
“We’re all feeling the pressure right now because of the loss of the $600-a-week pandemic unemployment assistance,” Hamler-Fugitt said. “That’s been a lifeline for a lot of people who thought they were temporarily laid off and a lot of temporary furloughs and layoffs have now been turned permanent.”
“Needless to say, SNAP is not funded sufficiently to even begin to make up for the loss of wages or unemployment benefits families are experiencing,” Joree Novotny, spokesperson for the Ohio Association of Foodbanks, said. “And while SNAP is our most critical line of defense against hunger, it cannot pay the rent or mortgage or even buy diapers.”