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Local Food Insecurity

In Cambria and Somerset Counties, 1 in every 6 children is suffering from food insecurity. That’s what a new study by Feeding America says.

One food bank official and tells us more about the issues they’re facing

Officials from the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank are saying food insecurity rates went up during the pandemic and never came back down.

Now, they say one in eight people in the eleven counties they serve suffer from food insecurity. In African American communities, that number increases to one out of every three people.

“Economic factors are impacting everyone across the board. In addition to that, there are systemic factors that will potentially impact communities of color more drastically.”

These numbers are a major increase from last year’s report, which showed that one in ten people suffered from food insecurity.

To combat this change, food bank officials say they’re distributing record high numbers of food. In April alone, they say they gave out over four million pounds of food.

“That’s higher than any month during the pandemic, and even higher than our most busy season which is November during the holidays, so the food insecurity need is growing exponentially”

Officials say the increased numbers can have many causes, like pandemic benefits being taken away, rising inflation, and systemic problems like health care access.

They say that understanding the issues that cause food insecurity is the first step toward addressing it.

“It’s important that we highlight and spotlight some of these factors that are really making these numbers not go in the direction that we want to as a community.”

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