NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) -Heading into their fifth month of response efforts to the coronavirus, Second Harvest Food Bank now faces serious challenges in securing enough food to support the ongoing need.
President and CEO Natalie Jayroe says for several months, food banks like Second Harvest have been able to nearly double the amount of food they distribution thanks to a USDA program.
“The CFAP (Coronavirus Food Assistance Program) food we’ve received has been a Godsend,” Jayroe said. “This is extremely high-quality vegetables, dairy products, milk and meat the federal government purchased from American farmers and manufacturers to help those impacted by the pandemic and the shutdown.”
However, the $3 billion emergency program is nearly out of money, having been spent much faster than anticipated, due to the incredible need across the country.
“Because of the sudden loss of much of this food, we are having to rework our distribution models,” she said.
The loss of much of the federal program’s support comes when thousands of residents will see unemployment benefits reduced, delayed school openings, and the expiration of the eviction moratorium.
“We will continue to do everything we can to help as many people as we can. We are fortunate to enjoy nonpartisan support across our entire Congressional delegation, and it’s our sincere hope and prayer that this incredible program be extended and further funded.”