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Food Banks Struggle To Meet Demand During Covid Thanksgiving

Boxes of food are distributed by the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank on August 6, 2020 in Paramount, California.
(Mario Tama/Getty Images)
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In news that should, sadly, surprise no one, local food banks are struggling to meet unprecedented demand for their services this Thanksgiving.

The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank has given out some 135 million pounds of food since March — a 145% increase compared to before the the pandemic, according to Michael Flood, the food bank's president and CEO.

He says on any given month before the pandemic, volunteers and staff would distribute food to as many as 300,000 people. With the coronavirus pandemic continuing to wreak economic devastation across the United States, that number has tripled.

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"And it's a real worry, from our standpoint, even with the increased distribution of 145% in food," he says. "It isn't necessarily enough. We feel like the demand is higher out there."

Flood says that because traditional food drives and individual donations have been discouraged, the organization is shoring up its supplies by making wholesale purchases of food that would have otherwise gone to restaurants or hotels.