We are officially halfway through 2021! Although we wish it wasn’t, 2020 was our biggest year yet due to the economic impact of coronavirus. This year, a COVID-19 vaccine became available and thus the U.S. began transitioning from the fight against coronavirus to recovering from it. While COVID cases in the U.S. have dropped significantly, financial losses caused by the pandemic continue to hinder many families’ transition to normalcy. A recent report by Herbalife Nutrition and Feeding America found that, of those Americans who have experienced food insecurity at some point in their lifetime, 73% of them experienced it for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
In order to help our local communities recover, we’ve ramped up our operations in 2021, because we know that recovering from hunger must be a part of pandemic recovery. Here is a recap of some of what’s been happening at Filling in the Blanks and the issues we’ve been focusing on so far this year.
Earlier this year, Feeding America reported that 13 million children in America may experience food insecurity in 2021, and many of those cases are a direct result of financial losses caused by the pandemic. Additionally, the pandemic has resulted in a 60% increase in the number of families seeking help from food banks.
Since 2020, we have doubled the number of school districts we serve in order to meet the increased demand for our services. In February, we announced that our meal bag delivery was up 151% compared to February 2018 — a direct reflection of the increased need for our services and our determination to meet it.
In April, we held our Unite to Fight Virtual 5k, proceeds from which were able to provide 16,600 meals for children in need!
We also wrapped up our #FundRestaurantsFeedFamilies community giving event, which encouraged donors to purchase gift cards from their favorite local restaurants, which were then included in our meal bags and given to families in need.
Our 8th annual Golf Outing charity event took place in May. We were so excited to be face-to-face with our Filling in the Blanks community working together to raise money to continue the fight against childhood hunger after a long year apart!
June marked the beginning of summer, and we have been working hard to make sure children in need stay fed while school is out for summer vacation. While many children can receive nutritional assistance during the summer months, accessing those meals has proven to be difficult when school is not in session. To help with this accessibility issue, we have switched up our operations for the summer and began delivering meals to summer camps, community organizations and homes in addition to schools.
2021 has been a busy year so far and our support continues to be crucial to families as they transition out of the pandemic. To help us continue our fight against child hunger: