Winston-Salem, July 21, 2020 – Unemployment has skyrocketed as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, driving more and more families to seek help to put food on the table, many for the first time. To support the response efforts of Second Harvest Food Bank and its partner food assistance programs serving communities in 18 Northwest North Carolina counties, The Leon Levine Foundation (TLLF) has made a significant gift to help provide essential food assistance for Northwest North Carolinians in need.
In the decade before the COVID-19 pandemic, North Carolina and our nation saw progress in finally returning to pre-Great Recession levels of food insecurity. That fragile progress has given way under the weight of the COVID-19 health crisis.
“Prior to COVID-19, 1 in 7 Northwest North Carolinians struggled with hunger, including 1 in 5 children,” said Eric Aft, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC. “Since COVID-19, the food bank’s partner food assistance organizations across the region are reporting seeing 40 to 60 percent more new families. We deeply appreciate the generosity of The Leon Levine Foundation as we continue to work with urgency to meet the needs of impacted residents in the communities we serve.
“During these unprecedented times, meeting the basic needs of families is imperative,” explained Tom Lawrence, president of TLLF. “Second Harvest Food Bank is the main resource for many of its hundreds of partners across the region providing vital food assistance to vulnerable children and families who may otherwise not have access to a meal. Its work is a clear fit with The Leon Levine Foundation’s mission of helping those facing crisis so they can return to a path towards self-sufficiency.”
Recent reports published by Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization of which Second Harvest Food Bank is part, are forecasting significant increases in food insecurity in every community in the nation, as the pandemic’s devastating impact on the economy continues. Recovery for our communities and families is likely to be long and difficult. Second Harvest and its on-the-ground partners are going to continue to need strong support from individuals and organizations in a position to help.
Get involved in Second Harvest Food Bank’s work feeding community here.