Pandemic Causes Rise in Need for Food Banks in US
American Brooklyn Dotson needed food. Dotson had worked at a warehouse in Tennessee, but she lost her job. She told the government about her situation in hopes of getting financial aid for the unemployed. But her first payment had yet to arrive.
So, the young Nashville woman drove almost 50 kilometers to the GraceWorks Ministries food bank in Franklin. There, workers loaded about $350 worth of food into her car.
"I don't have any income coming in...it's just hard to get any help right now," Dotson said. She spoke with The Associated Press while waiting in line at GraceWorks.
Food banks across the United States stay busy even in the best of economic times. Now, however, the coronavirus pandemic has brought increased demand as millions of people like Dotson are unexpectedly out of work.
"About 50 percent of the people coming through our lines have never been here before," said Valencia A. Breckenridge, who serves as president of Graceworks.
Lack of donations
Just as demand for food is increasing, however, many of the people and places that offered donations in the past have stopped. Restaurants and hotels are closed or have reduced operations. At other times, they gave all their extra food to food banks.
"It is a perfect storm scenario," said Katie Fitzgerald. She is chief operating officer of Feeding America. It is an organization representing more than 60,000 food banks nationwide.
Feeding America has seen an increase in demand from 98 percent of its member food banks, one study found.
In recent legislation, the U.S. Congress included money for emergency food aid. Fitzgerald has warned that the money may take months to reach local neighborhoods. She notes that the demand is now. The $100 million that billionaire Jeff Bezos promised to her organization on April 2 was already given out last week, she noted.
"When people say what do you need the most, we need food and money," said Nancy Keil. She is president and chief executive officer of Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee.
Keeping volunteers safe from the virus
Food banks have also had to find ways to give out their food supplies while keeping their workers safe from the coronavirus.
The San Francisco-Marin Food Bank in California has built "pop-up" food banks after some of its sites closed because of the pandemic, a spokeswoman said. The newest sites serve hundreds of people every day. They are open for longer hours and use open spaces to enforce social distance.
Many older adults work as volunteers at food banks, which creates another problem. Older people face a greater risk from the coronavirus.
The East Nashville Cooperative Ministry food bank has considered closing because so many of its volunteers are older adults.
Judy Wahlstrom, age 70, directs the program. She has refused to stop her volunteer work, but taken steps to protect herself. Only one person is permitted to enter the food bank at a time, and she now wears a face mask.
"I said, ‘If I get it, I get it,'" Wahlstrom said. "I don't have anybody at home dependent on me. I said, ‘I got to keep it open.'"
At the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, spokeswoman Cathy Nestlen said nearly 45,000 people helped out last year. This year the group is using more paid employees to reduce the number of volunteers.
The bank acts as a food distribution center for hundreds of smaller food banks. It recently moved to a six-day work week and is considering going to seven days a week.
Oklahoma is one of the states that had a high level of malnutrition in the country before the virus, Nestlen said.
"When a household becomes economically insecure, they almost immediately become food-insecure," she added.
I'm Jill Robbins.
1.food banks 食品银行
Kraft Foods ( krft) and other companies have programs to donate meals to food banks.
卡夫食品（Kraft Foods）和其他公司则有向食物银行捐赠饭菜的活动 。
2.face mask 口罩
Wear safety goggles and use a face mask if you are creating dust.
3.depend on 依赖
Needy and handicapped people depend on government relief for their support.
4.give out 分发
He wouldn't give out any information.
5.Food banks have also had to find ways to give out their food supplies while keeping their workers safe from the coronavirus.
find ways to 设法做某事
We will find ways to get over the difficulties.
By figuring out these things, you will be able to find ways to save and invest more.
6.She has refused to stop her volunteer work, but taken steps to protect herself.
taken steps to 采取措施
I had already taken steps to speed up a solution to the problem.
Have you taken steps to protect your home?
美国人布鲁克林·多森（Brooklyn Dotson）需要食物 。多森曾在田纳西州的一家仓库工作，但她失业了 。她向政府透露了自身处境，希望能得到失业人员的经济援助 。但是她的第一笔救助还没有收到 。
因此，这位年轻的纳什维尔女性驱车近50公里到富兰克林的GraceWorks Ministries食品银行 。在那里，工作人员将价值350美元的食物装进了她的车内 。
“我没有任何收入来源……现在很难得到任何帮助，”多森说道 。她在GraceWorks排队时接受了美联社的采访 。
即使在经济最繁荣的时期，美国各地的食品银行仍然十分忙碌 。然而现在，随着数百万名多森这样的人意外失业，冠状病毒大流行导致食品需求猛增 。
Graceworks的总裁瓦伦西亚·布雷肯里奇(Valencia A. Breckenridge)表示，“来这里排队的人中，大约有50%以前从未来过 。”
然而，就在人们对食物的需求不断增长的同时，许多曾提供捐赠的人和地方已经停止了供应 。餐馆和酒店关门或减少营业 。以往，他们会把所有多余的食物都捐给食物银行 。
凯蒂·菲茨杰拉德，“现在的情况是雪上加霜” 。她是“美国赈饥”的首席运营官 。这是一个代表全国6万多家食品银行的组织 。
在最近的立法中，美国国会为紧急粮食援助提供了资金 。菲茨杰拉德警告称，这笔资金可能需要数月才能到达当地社区 。她指出，当下要解决的是燃眉之急 。她指出，亿万富翁贝佐斯(Jeff Bezos)在4月2日向她的组织承诺的1亿美元已于上周投入使用 。
南希·凯尔说，“当人们问最需要什么时，我们需要食物和资金” 。她是田纳西州中部Second Harvest食品银行的总裁兼首席执行官 。
加州旧金山-马林食品银行(San Francisco-Marin Food Bank)的一名女发言人称，该银行的一些服务点因冠状病毒大流行关闭，随后该银行建起了“弹出式”食品银行 。新开设的服务点每天为数百人提供服务 。开放的时间更长，并利用开放的空间来保持社会距离 。
许多老年人在食品银行做志愿者，这造成另一个问题 。老年人感染冠状病毒的风险更大 。
东纳什维尔合作食品银行已经考虑关闭，因为该机构的许多志愿者都是老年人 。 一70岁的朱迪·瓦尔斯特伦(Judy Wahlstrom)是该项目的负责人 。她拒绝停止志愿者的工作，不过会采取措施保护自己 。每次只允许一个人进入食品库，而她现在戴上了口罩 。
“我说，‘如果感染了，那就感染吧，’”瓦尔斯特伦说 。“反正家里没人依赖我 。我说，‘我得保证店一直开门 。’”
俄克拉荷马地区食品银行的女发言人凯西·内斯特伦表示，去年有近4.5万人伸出了援手 。今年，该组织正在雇佣更多带薪员工来减少志愿者的数量 。
这家银行是数百家小型食品银行的食品配送中心 。该公司最近将工作时间改为每周六天，并正在考虑将工作时间改为每周七天 。