The economical effects of coronavirus
There’s still a tremendous amount of uncertainty about how COVID-19 will affect our economies and communities in the long run. We’ve already seen the immediate effects: people furloughed or laid off from their jobs, permanent closures of businesses, shortages of food items, supply chain backups, school closures, the increased need for food assistance and so much more.
Our economy—and our neighbors—are suffering. This health crisis is quickly turning into a hunger crisis. According to Feeding America, food insecurity and poverty rates are only expected to increase over the next six months. Several counties in southwest Missouri recorded a jobless rate of 9.1 percent in April, an increase from 3 percent in February. Unemployment rates are worse than during the Great Recession, and we’ve only just begun the long and challenging road to recovery.
Right now, many families are getting the help they need through pandemic-related assistance. Additional SNAP dollars, extra USDA food provisions, the government stimulus and unemployment funds are helping families stay afloat. But what happens when these programs are no longer in place? How will parents who lost their jobs or depend on summer meal programs continue to feed their kids?
This creates the perfect storm for families who are already struggling to make ends meet. We’ve seen evidence of an increased need in southwest Missouri. Since the end of March, Ozarks Food Harvest has provided an additional 1.1 million meals to people in need across the Ozarks. They plan to provide additional meals for as long as the increased need and funds will allow, but they need some help to do that.
Today, I’m asking for your help to support the good work of Ozarks Food Harvest. As I said, the road to recovery is long and challenging. The Food Bank will need additional funds for months to come. A little goes a long way, and you can trust that your donation will be used to help as many people as possible.
Are you willing to join me in stepping up to meet the increased need? If so, visit ozarksfoodharvest.org/donate and select “COVID-19 Hope Fund” from the dropdown menu. If you have questions about The Food Bank’s ongoing response, feel free to give Bart a call at 417-865-3411.
Thank you for your continued support of hunger relief in the Ozarks. Your help is sincerely appreciated.