Food banks are seeing insecurity as economic downturn from the coronavirus outbreak increase need

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ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis food bank is seeing an increase in the number of families coming in to grab necessities.

“The need is real and its growing exponentially,” said Meredith Knopp, St. Louis Area Food Bank.

Knopp has only been with the St. Louis Area Food Bank for roughly 2 years, but says she’s never seen the need to this magnitude.

“Every month the St. Louis Area Food Bank would serve about 3.3 million meals,” Knopp said. “In the last two weeks we’ve distributed nearly 2 and a half million meals.”

The difference from other situations like natural disasters the food banks steps in to help with is that this one doesn’t affect a certain portion of the population, it affects everyone.

“It’s quite literally hitting every community across our nation, so now you have hundreds of food banks competing for limited resources, limited supplies.”

With nearly 10 million Americans filing for unemployment, the uptick in the amount of families visiting food banks should come as no surprise.

In other parts of the U.S. like San Antonio, Texas, a food bank distributed to nearly 2,000 families on Tuesday alone.

Thankfully, here in the St. Louis region the amount of food going out is keeping up with the amount that’s coming in.

“So many local distributors, groceries, casinos before they shut down called us to donate perishable and non-perishable items so we could get them to the right people at the right time.”

As far as pickup, it’s hassle-free.

Those in need drive up, signal their household size with their fingers, open their trunk to receive the food and then their off.

It’s that painless process, Knopp wants for families during these challenging times.

“If you need help, please, please, please don’t suffer in silence,” said Knopp.

If you would like to stop by to pick up some food, give food, or potentially volunteer.

Head over to stlfoodbank.org/covid19.

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