COLUMBUS Ga. (WRBL) – The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated Americas food insecurity problem. From stress on supply chains to the massive unemployment spike last year that the country is slowly recovering from one thing is clear. People need help.
Feeding the Valley, a local food bank associated with Feeding America, supports thousands of families in the Chattahoochee valley battling food insecurity.
Hellen Klinghagen is the head of one of those many families that depends on the work Feeding the Valley does.
Klinghagen, who is a food bank customer and volunteer says, “I had a son was killed and these kids took a bond to me, and I’m raising them, and this food bank helps out a lot because I couldn’t get nothing but $16 from food stamps. So this food helps these two children and me out a lot.”
“We saw such an upsurge of need, especially in the beginning of the pandemic,” says Katie Byers, Director at St. Anne Community Outreach; one of the many food banks Feeding the Valley supplies. “We went from serving 25 families a day to serving 100 families a day. It was 4 times the amount of assistance being required.”
Byers went on to say, “And we saw a lot of families that have never been to a food pantry before when we looked at our records, we found that 60 percent of families that come during the initial couple months of the pandemic had never had food assistance before.”