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Friday, 22 January 2021

More Americans seek free food ahead of holidays

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More Americans seek free food ahead of holidays
More Americans seek free food ahead of holidays

[NFA] With millions of Americans out of work due to the global pandemic, hunger-relief organizations are trying to meet the skyrocketing demand for food ahead of the holidays.

This report produced by Jillian Kitchener.

"It's a little shocking and it's sad.

It's sad.

(CRYING)” New York’s Ruth Crawford says she’s never waited in line for a free Thanksgiving turkey, because she’s never had to until this year.

“You don't think of yourself getting on a line.

You don't think you're going to lose your job, but things happen.” Crawford is one of millions of Americans who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic and are struggling to make ends meet.

Looking to ease some of the burden ahead of the holidays, the organization "Food Bank For New York City" on Monday gave out 500 turkeys, canned goods and produce to hundreds of families.

And there’s more to give away in the coming days.

Leslie Gordon is president of the organization: “And, you know, here in New York City, even before the pandemic, there were 1.5 million residents here across the five boroughs who didn't always know where their next meal was coming from or what it will be.

And so that's escalated considerably to nearly 2 million of our neighbors." Food banks nationwide are facing short supplies due to overwhelming demand.

In Dallas, Texas, this weekend, food banks distributed more than half of a million pounds of food to drivers lined up as far as the eye could see - the biggest food giveaway in the city since the pandemic began.

In Los Angeles, a YMCA branch tried to keep up.

(DAN POWELL, INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NORTH VALLEY FAMILY YMCA) "Clearly, there's great need, like every year.

This is our 14th year, but this year the demand is even greater.” (RICHARD SAENG, PICKING UP BASKET FOR HIS FAMILY) "I've been coming for the last four years, I really appreciate what they're doing for the families at this time because of the virus.” But even with all the trimmings, how traditional will the Thanksgiving feast be this year?

Not very.

Many Americans - heeding the warnings from health experts and local officials - plan to avoid large gatherings this holiday, another reminder that normal is still many months away.

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