Despite reopening of CSRA economy, families continue to struggle with food supply

Published: Jun. 25, 2020 at 6:26 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - It’s been over three months since COVID-19 shut down our economy. States are reopening and business coming is back, but several families across the CSRA are still struggling to meet a basic need.

Cars lined down Telfair Street on Thursday to receive food from a Mobile Market. The food distribution was a partnership between Golden Harvest Food Bank, Downtown Co-Operative Church Ministries Food Pantry, and St. John Methodist Church.

Amy Breitmann, Golden Harvest’s executive director, says the food insecurity problem has only increased since the start of the pandemic.

″The need is still growing as far as we’ve seen,” she said. “Unemployment rates are high, and even though some people are going back to work, there are a number of impacts that are really influencing our families.”

Since we last reported, Golden Harvest has held six more mobile market food distributions. They say they’ve seen a 42 percent increase for food insecurity in our area since March.

“We’ve served about 2.7 million meals since the pandemic began. So we’ve seen crowds like this at every distribution that we’ve attended and that we’ve helped to partner with” said Breitmann.

The crowds are getting smaller either.

″Many people have gone through their stimulus check or savings account, that’s what we’re hearing from people we serve that they’re at their end,” said Breitmann. “So there’s just a number of factors that have had a domino effect.”

Downtown Co-Operative Church Ministries Executive Director Christy Cunningham says Thursday’s crowd is the most her pantry has ever given out.

“We’ve served about 125 clients, and for us, that’s an increase,” Cunningham said. “We normally do about 75 people a day Monday through Friday, so that’s a big increase and the need continues to rise.”

Cunningham says as long as there is a need, she’ll be here to help.

“It could be me tomorrow. It could be me today, so why not give back” she said.

Golden Harvest says they’re in it for the long haul and will continue to go above and beyond to provide food for those in need.

For more information on upcoming food distribution events, click here.

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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