Food For All Rises to the Challenge in Washington DC
The food insecurity crisis in the US is dire. In Omaha, Nebraska, for example, over 900 people recently appeared at a food pantry used to serving fewer than 100 people daily . At the same time that demand for food assistance is rising, food banks are also experiencing donation and volunteer shortages.
Prior to the current crisis, a study by the U.S. Federal Reserve found that 40% of American adults did not have the resources to handle an unexpected expense of $400. The surge of families seeking food assistance programs across the nation is ample evidence of that stark reality. A recent New York Times article highlighted the spike in demand at food pantries across the nation as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.
AMURT’s Food For All (FFA) program in Washington DC has seen a four-fold increase in demand for food over the past four weeks, increasing from 140 weekly food recipients in late March to 503 in late April. Our new clients include senior citizens with underlying health issues, people with disabilities, single parents with children to feed all day at home and the recently unemployed, especially those laid off from restaurants. Many people have seen their support systems taken away from them. A woman in transitional housing said that her homeless daycare center closed, leaving her without a place to get food.
In the face of these extraordinary challenges, the human spirit of service and compassion is strong and steady. Every week, up to 50 drivers volunteer their time to deliver food bags to FFA clients. People have also been generous financially, donating $16,000 in a month for food supplies. One donor contributed the bulk of her $1,200 federal stimulus check, writing, “Please use it for those in genuine need.”
To expand its reach, Food For All has partnered with two local organizations: Passion City Church and Ward 6 Mutual Aid. Passion City has provided on-call drivers for emergency deliveries during the week, and Mutual Aid, a loose coalition of citizens and community-based organizations, delivers FFA food to struggling residents in Ward 6.
The numerous demonstrations of solidarity and kindness have brought the people of the Washington DC region together and strengthened the collective ability to care for one another. Food For All will continue to play its part in meeting the essential food needs of those badly affected by the pandemic.
Please consider contributing to the Food For All program, which is 100% volunteer run, so it can continue to meet the ever-growing needs of the Washington DC’s food insecure citizens.
I don’t get food stamps, so this is a big help. The food was excellent and I could use everything. I pray for the volunteers continuously. Bonita, a recent cancer survivor
My daughter and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts. The two ladies who brought our food gave me the uplift I needed to get through the week. Chatara, recently unemployed
AMURT also runs COVID-19 responses in Bangladesh, India, Philippines and other countries.
Thank you notes from some of the women beneficiaries at the YWCA center for formerly homeless women.
FFA client with underlying health issues who is unable to leave her house.
Mr. Paige, house manager at Park Lane Transitional Program, receiving food bags for 10 residents who are in transition from substance abuse and crisis situations.