Coronavirus News: Demand for NYC food pantries has doubled during COVID-19 pandemic

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Wednesday, April 8, 2020
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With so many workers furloughed or fired, people are running out of ways to feed their families. And New York City food panties are buckling under the pressure to keep up with overwhelming demand.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- With so many workers furloughed or fired, people are running out of ways to feed their families. And New York City food panties are buckling under the pressure to keep up with overwhelming demand.

The need for food is greater, and lines are longer than ever. Demand has doubled.

In Queens Wednesday, a line at a Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens pop-up site stretched five blocks.

"We're talking about folks who have already depleted any resources they had," CEO of Food Bank for New York City Leslie Gordon said. "The average American has less than $400 in savings to begin with so this makes it very challenging."

Not only has coronavirus increased need, but there are fewer food pantries in which to get help because 40% of sites have closed.

Why? Because so many of the amazing volunteers who run them are over the age of 60 and are staying home now.

A food pantry in the Bronx had to close, again, because so many who work there are older.

Remaining pantries are seeing more than twice as many people show up, and like the Food Bank for NYC, half of the people are faces they have never seen before - people who did not need help like this, until now.

Already a lot of food has gone out, approximately 5 million meals.

However, there is still a lot of help needed.

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