A new study by Northwestern University found that 29 million Americans, 11%, sometimes or often cannot afford to eat. This is a drastic rise from 2018, where only 8 million reported hunger.
The culprits cited are the high unemployment rate, COVID-19 school lock downs that prevent children from getting their subsidized means, and the inadequacy of the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP).
The increase in food insecurity has been hit the lower middle class the hardest. 12% of families in the $35,000-$50,000 income range year are now reporting that they do not have enough to eat.
The report awkwardly shoehorns critical race theory language in some sections, emphasizing that blacks are somewhat overrepresented among the hungry (22% vs 13.4% of the general population), but the plurality (42%) of Americans suffering from food crisis are white.
The precarious economic situation of working and middle class Americans means that 46 million people relied on food banks before the pandemic. The current number of people in this situation is unknown, but it is certainly much higher and public food pantries are becoming overwhelmed.
This presentation PROOVES WITHOUT DOUBT that America is in for a major fight that will put you and your family in the firing line, literally… So make sure you watch this presentation while it’s still online…
As millions struggle to find a meal, farms across the country have been destroying record amounts of fresh food due to reduced demand on the market. The shocking practice is meant to prevent a reduction in prices and profits.
The sharp decline in civic engagement in America documented by figures like Robert Putnam has also led to increases in demand being met with a struggle to find volunteers to move and deliver food to the needy, especially the elderly who are at most risk from COVID-19.
Millions people will be pushed into extreme poverty this year owing to the pandemic, but the long-term effects will be even worse, as poor nutrition in childhood causes lifelong suffering. Already, one in five children around the world are stunted in their growth by the age of five, and millions more are likely to suffer the same fate if poverty rates soar.
Throughout history, mankind has waged a constant war with starvation. From the time of the first hunter-gatherers, through the early cultivation of crops and all the way to our modern, industrialized farming techniques, we humans have been working to ensure that we can survive the next winter, when no crops are growing and animals hide in their burrows. To our ancestors, this was a great challenge, unlike today. For that reason, the idea of being a “prepper” would seem strange, as they all lived a prepping lifestyle.
Yet somehow, modern western culture has distanced itself from the reality of needing to grow food. As the number of farmers in our midst keeps dwindling and industrialized farming takes over, fewer and fewer people have any idea of where their food comes from. The idea that the grocery store produces meat and vegetables rather than farmers and ranchers growing it, might make for a good joke, but the ignorance behind it is outright frightening.
The United States is the number one food producing nation in the world; yet we do it with a very small percentage of our overall population. Farming, fishing, forestry and related activities account for only 1.8% of the overall workforce. Those people not only produce the food that we eat here at home, but much that is exported overseas.
We depend on this small portion of our population, plus the others who work in the food service industry, to keep the rest of us fed. The rest of us don’t even bother thinking about it. After all, there’s always food in the grocery store… lots of food. There always has been and there always will be, right?
But what if they can’t? Since coronavirus lockdown has started, the farmers in this country can’t produce the food needed to feed our population, let alone all the other countries in the world that buy $159 billion in American food products. What will we do Next?
Main drivers of acute food insecurity found all over the continent include:
Examples: Interstate conflicts, internal violence, regional/global instability, or political crises.
In many instances, these result in people being displaced as refugees.
- Weather extremes
Examples: Droughts and floods
- Economic shocks
Macroeconomic examples: Hyperinflation and currency depreciation
Microeconomic examples: Rising food prices, reduced purchasing power
Examples: Desert locusts, armyworms
- Health shocks
Examples: Disease outbreaks as (COVID-19), which can be worsened by poor quality of water, sanitation, or air
A major side-effect of conflict, food insecurity, and weather shocks.
It Could All Stop Tomorrow
While it would take a lot to shut down our farms or lower the amount they produce to levels where we would see shortages, there is one thing that could shut down food supplies in a day. That’s any sort of damage to our nation’s trucking industry.
The food production and food service industries depend on trucking, more so than many other industries. Without our nation’s trucking industry taking food from the farm to the various processing facilities and then from those to the stores, the supermarket shelves would empty in a day.
As I sit here writing this, that’s happening in Wyoming. Severe winter weather has made the roads all but impassible, with over 200 miles of Interstate 80 closed down. This is making it difficult for truckers to make their deliveries, which in turn has led to empty shelves in the stores. Should this situation last for more than a few days, things could get serious for the inhabitants of that state.
The same could happen nationwide, should the electrical grid go down or some sort of nationwide quarantine be put in place due to pandemic. It wouldn’t matter what farmers could produce then, as it would only be available to people living locally. Those who lived in states where there wasn’t any food grown or even in cities that were far from the farms and processing plants, had better have their pantries stocked, or they’ll find themselves on very short rations.
Most Americans don’t even think about having enough food in a crisis… until it’s too late.