GWINNETT COUNTY, GA — The cumulative effect of 39 weeks of historic joblessness and business failures because of the coronavirus pandemic is as plain as the bare cupboards in millions of kitchens across America: As many as 50 million people, including about 173,421 people in Gwinnett County, don't have enough to eat.
You can help by giving to Feeding America in Patch's Holiday Food Drive. Contributions are tax-deductible, so if you give now, you'll be able to include your donation in your 2020 tax return.
The food drive runs through Dec. 31. For every $1 you give, Feeding America is able to supply 10 meals.
Many of the families experiencing food insecurity don't qualify for federal nutrition programs, and they need to rely on their food banks and other hunger relief organizations to have enough to eat, according to Feeding America.
Patch and Feeding America teamed last summer to address the growing hunger crisis in America, connecting readers with the organization's 200 member food banks that serve 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, and providing an easy way to donate money to help their neighbors.
Some of the places in Gwinnett County that can benefit are:
Buford Family Community Center, 4042 Friendship Road, Buford, 678-292-5954
North Gwinnett Co-Operative, 4395 Commerce Dr., Buford, 770-271-9793
The Pantry at HMUMC, Hamilton Mill United Methodist Church, 1450 Pine Road #1455, Dacula 770-271-8855
CarePointe Community Outreach, 1800 Satellite Blvd. NW, Duluth, 678-802-7233
Hands of Christ Duluth Co-op,3395 Fox St. NWDuluth, 770-623-9563
Southeast Gwinnett Cooperative Ministry55 Grayson Industrial Parkway, Grayson
Lawrenceville Co-Op Ministry, 52 Gwinnett Dr. Suite C,Lawrenceville, 770-339-7887
Madinah Food Pantry,211 Culver St. S, Lawrenceville
StreetWise Georgia1770 Cedars Road SE, Lawrenceville, 678-985-9952
Lilburn Cooperative Ministry,5329 Five Forks Trickum Road SW, Lilburn, 770-931-8333
Norcross Cooperative Ministry, 500 Pinnacle Ct., Norcross
Overcomers House,Fountain Square Business Center,2114 McGee Road SW, Snellville, 678-615-7714
Place of Enlightenment2720 Centerville Hwy.Snellville, 770-982-8221
Feeding America predicted last summer that 50 million people, including 17 million children, could face hunger by year's end because of the pandemic.
To put that into perspective, about 35 million people in the United States struggled with hunger in 2019, according to the latest report on household food insecurity by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Households with children are the most vulnerable to food insecurity. Before the pandemic, more than 10 million children lived in food-insecure households.
Feeding America projects the food insecurity rate in Fulton County will rise to 12.3 percent in 2020, up from 9 percent in 2018.
Feeding America says that 80 percent of its food banks — or 4 in 5 — are serving more people than they were at the same time last year. With the pandemic worsening during the holiday season, many people who never before worried about how they'd pay for a holiday meal are turning to food banks for the first time.
From the beginning of the pandemic in March, Feeding America distributed 4.2 billion meals — enough to provide every U.S. resident with breakfast, lunch and dinner for just over four days.
In the first four months of the pandemic, 4 in 10 people were first-time visitors to food banks, according to Feeding America.
How To Support The Patch Holiday Food Drive
Patch has teamed with Feeding America to help raise awareness on behalf of the millions of Americans facing hunger. Feeding America, which supports 200 food banks across the country, estimates that in 2020, more than 50 million Americans will not have enough nutritious food to eat due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. This is a Patch social good project; Feeding America receives 100 percent of donations.