For that reason, COVID-19 has created the “perfect storm” — that rare catastrophe made even worse by the combination of events surrounding it — for members of our ‘ohana trying to make ends meet.
Ongoing travel restrictions and hiring freezes continue to devastate Hawaii’s economy — contributing to the highest unemployment rate in the United States. At the same time, people are now paying higher prices for their groceries compared to before the pandemic. A recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals a nearly 50-year record rise in food costs. This makes food affordability even more difficult for people and families dealing with job and income losses.
According to Feeding America, roughly two out of every five people now relying on food banks had not received food assistance prior to the pandemic. We saw it here, too, as many Hawaii residents found themselves in need of help for the first time ever. Now, as tens of thousands are still unemployed — they find themselves in the precarious position of needing ongoing food assistance for months on end. As a result, the number of people in Hawaii facing hunger has increased by more than 50 percent.
Originally published by Hawaii Foodbank: Source