And Then Hunger

COVID-19’s next devastating consequence: hunger.

A collection of food companies, the UN Foundation, and others are warning that COVID-19 could cause the number of people suffering chronic hunger to double in the coming months, The Guardian reports.

COVID-19 will “massively” disrupt food systems, the Food and Land Use Coalition wrote in a call to action for world leaders. They urged governments to keep trade open, invest in food supply chains, and protect farmers. The worry is that export restrictions by some governments could cause shortages though harvests have been good. 

As job losses mount and social distancing limits the ability to work, people face another reason for hunger: No money to buy food. 70% of people living in Brazil’s slums report a drop in income because of COVID-19, ABC reports.

A 67-year-old in Rio de Janiero put it this way: “What can I do except working? If I stay home I will die of starvation.”

In the US, people are turning to food banks as a lifeline, The New York Times reports. 900 people showed up at an Omaha, Nebraska food pantry in one day—9X a normal day’s number. And in the Pittsburgh area last week, cars lined up for milesto get to a food bank.

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