By Caroline Parsons - Associate Director, Major Gifts
Banco de Alimentos Peru
With your support, The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN) continues to respond, working tirelessly to serve those who have turned to food banks for support through this time of urgent need. Since the start of the pandemic, GFN has been surveying our network working to capture at a high level how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting food banks in the network. This is the third survey conducted since the pandemic began in March, and we have identified the following trends:
An estimated 27.54 million people served by GFN food banks in 2020, as of September – a more than 63% increase over 2019
An additional 10.6 million people, many of whom are newly unemployed, provided emergency food assistance in just 7 months
About 91% of food banking organizations are still seeing high levels of demand.
Food banking organizations are continuing to serve significantly more people (e.g. ABACO in Colombia reports serving 2.7m people during the pandemic, an increase from last year’s 650,000 people served). On average, food banking organizations are serving 211,000 more people during the pandemic (up from 107,000 estimated during our last survey).
Food banks distributed an average increase of 125% more food
Product donations are returning to pre-pandemic levels, and even though 89% of food banking organizations are still purchasing food to meet local needs and augment inventories, most report that less than 15% of their inventory is purchased.
82% of food banking organizations are serving more agencies than they were pre-pandemic.
83% of food banks changed food distribution methods to meet requests for emergency food.
75% of food banks are providing direct-to-recipient food distribution.
Importantly, at this stage in the pandemic, just 22.7% of the network is facing a critical funding shortfall, with 66.7% of the network reporting sufficient funds to continue relief in the immediate term.
Responses to this survey were made before some of the recent surges in COVID cases and new rounds of lockdowns.
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