Food Pantries Receiving Less Food Donations


Nolan Burke

Food distributions reached a peak at the start of 2021, but they are now dropping considerably. Data from food banks nationwide illustrate that the need for food had decreased starting in spring 2021. Despite the decrease, food insecurity is still more frequent than before the pandemic.

American food banks fear that the delta variant of COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting families that currently face food insecurity. Unemployment benefits that were passed during the early stages of the pandemic are expiring, placing another burden on exposed families. 

One food program called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) saw a 7 million user increase from 2019 to 2021. Currently, SNAP is assisting 8 percent of US adults, though at the height of the pandemic, it helped as many as 14 percent. The percentage is still higher than in average years because of the lasting effects of the pandemic. 

Food banks are the primary sources through which the US addresses food insecurity. The Biden administration donated $1 billion to improve food bank infrastructure, such as repairing warehouses. The federal government plans to focus on enacting policies to combat food insecurity as the delta variant runs rampant.