For food banks across Texas, August will be a busy month. Millions are unemployed and food need has skyrocketed due to the COVID-19 crisis.
An estimated 4.2 million Texans faced food insecurity pre-pandemic and research suggests that need has doubled as the pandemic rages on. Food insecurity disproportionately affects people of color and experiencing it at a young age can lead to lasting health problems.
National Guard support and federal unemployment benefits are set to end at the end of July. How will these changes affect the demand for food across Texas and in the San Antonio area?
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott extended certifications for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by six months and pushed the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer application deadline to August 21 for families who lost access to free and reduced-price school meals.
Who qualifies for these benefits and is it enough to provide real relief? What other steps have been taken to maintain emergency funding for food banks and other assistance programs?
How do Texas food banks plan to keep up with the growing number of families facing food insecurity? Do they have the capacity to meet this need long-term in the wake of COVID-19? How can communities help?
- Eric Cooper, president and CEO of the San Antonio Food Bank
- Celia Cole, CEO of Feeding Texas
- Luis Guardia, president of the Food Research & Action Center
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*This program was recorded on Tuesday, July 28.