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Greater Lansing Food Bank calls for actions amid increased food insecurity during pandemic

Posted at 4:03 PM, Sep 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-01 16:24:36-04

LANSING, Mich. (WSYM) — In a global pandemic a food bank can be a lifeline, which is why the Greater Lansing Food Bank is partnering with Feeding America food banks nationwide to bring awareness to food insecurity for the 13th year.

“It’s really a call to action. So right now there’s 54 million Americans who are deemed hungry especially in the wake of the pandemic and our goal is to make sure that no one goes hungry,” said CEO Michelle Lantz.

During the pandemic the Greater Lansing Food Bank (GLFB) saw an increase in need by 30%. Lantz says one of the reasons is because there are people in unexpected positions who have never had to ask for resources before.

“We were up around 90,000 people in the mid-Michigan area who are deemed hungry, which means that they’re not sure where their next few meals are going to be coming from,” said Lantz.

The GLFB serves seven mid-Michigan counties as the central warehouse and distribution hub for more than 150 partners to provide food. To meet the increase need, they have been working longer hours and getting creative.

“Even our administrative staff was working over here in the warehouse helping pack up backpacks bags,” said Lantz.

As the pandemic lingers on they anticipate the demand will only increase.

“Once those stimulus dollars are going away we anticipate there’s going to be another spike in the need. Additionally once those schools are back in session, some of those students are doing online learning so there’s going to be a bit more need for food to go home with the children,” said Lantz.

This Hunger Awareness Month, they’re asking for donations and more volunteers. Monetary donations are easier to process than food donations because of the pandemic.

There are other ways to help:
• Setting up a “virtual” food drive to share with your friends and family
• Sharing social media messages from GLFB
• Wearing orange and sharing your story of support
• Donating produce from your garden to a local food pantry

Feeding America estimates an additional 17 million people could be food insecure in 2020 as a result of the pandemic, bringing the total up to 54 million people.