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Food insecurity affects nearly 25 percent of people in the United States. During a recent interview, Chris Pratt spoke about the pandemic and food insecurity, according to Fox News on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. Pratt believes it is important to talk about hunger — it should be a national discussion.
On Tuesday, 41-year-old Pratt participated in an Instagram Live interview with Feeding America CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot. She oversees the nations’ largest network of food banks, pantries, and meal programs.
Between the pandemic and the resultant economic downturn, the level of food insecurity is greater than the country has seen in a very long time, explains Pratt. Feeding America reports an estimated 15 million more individuals will live in food-insecure homes this year in the United States — compared to pre-pandemic estimates.
America’s Food Banks Working Hard to Keep Up With Need
Long lines of people in need have cropped up at food banks and pantries across the nation — particularly ahead of the holiday season this year. Reports from many states, including California, South Carolina, Texas, Ohio, and Wisconsin, indicate many people waiting for food assistance are first-timers. Many stating they never needed help before COVID-19 closed businesses, and unemployment rapidly climbed.
It was 42 degrees in Cincinnati, and a line had already formed outside the Freestone Foodbank. Everyone was there to pick up some food. When the pandemic stated, they were assisting about 125 people a day — recently, they served 374 on one day.
USA Today reports some of those in line were there for the first time; many were embarrassed and not up for discussing the matter. For others, it was a monthly visit — necessary for survival.
Pratt understands what it is like to need help when he was a youngster. During economic hard times, his family went to the food bank. Pratt admitted:
I’m not ashamed to say that there were moments where my family would need to eat from a food bank.
On the subject of food insecurity, Pratt continued to stress it is important for people in need to seek help, “it’s okay to accept. It is.” He repeated himself several times during the interview that there is no shame in seeking assistance.
Conversely, for those not needing help right now, Pratt said: “There’s a great feeling in service of helping someone else.”
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
Fox News: Chris Pratt Speaks Out About Hunger and Food Bank Shortages; by Mariah Haas
USA Today: A 2-mile line in Arizona. A four-hour wait in Ohio. Millions seek help to avoid going hungry on Thanksgiving; Joel Shannon and Keith Biery-Golick
Feeding America: Hunger in America
Featured Image by Capt. Brendan Mackie Courtesy of U.S. National Guard’s Flickr Page – Creative Common License
Inset Image Courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License