COVID-19 is more than a viral pandemic in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. It is an economic crisis affecting a disproportionate percentage of our population. The Rio Grande Valley is one of the poorest places in the U.S. The safety net isn't large enough or sturdy enough to support all of those who are suffering from food insecurity stemming from record unemployment levels. We are distributing lots of food. And we're hiring furloughed food service workers to help us do it more efficiently.
COVID-19 has caused record unemployment in the Rio Grande Valley, and because we are one of the poorest places in the country people do not have savings to fall back on. Within a week of our county emergency orders closing most places of business, demand for emergency food assistance had more than doubled, and demand continued to grow exponentially. The unprecedented freeze of February 2021 led to record demand for emergency food.
United Against Hunger brings together the organizations fighting food insecurity to fight together. Together we are more efficient and more effective. We get more food to more people more quickly by expanding our regular food distributions channels and by creating new ones, like our weekly mass distributions of emergency food and produce, which serve 2,000 families in just one morning per week. We united to seek funding and to make decisions about how best to use that funding. Stronger united.
While we hope that the economy will improve, in the meanwhile we are getting food to people as efficiently as possible. If things become more manageable, we also plan to work together to examine our community's food pantry system to ensure that it's equitable and efficient.
Give the gift of stability in a time of instability. Set up an automatic, monthly gift now and get matched at 100%—because the COVID-19 pandemic has hurt us all, and it will take all of us to overcome it. Terms and conditions apply.
Monthly giving is as easy, safe, and as inexpensive as a Netflix subscription. Start a monthly donation to United Way of Southern Cameron County today and get matched at 100%. Terms and conditions apply.