“The percentage of Americans struggling with hunger is now at its lowest level since the pandemic began, suggesting the recent flood in aid from Washington is making a significant difference to families struggling economically.
Data released by the U.S. Census Bureau this week shows the percentage of adults living in households that sometimes or often did not have enough to eat dipped to just over 8 percent late last month, down from nearly 11 percent in March. That is a substantial drop, and it came after hundreds of billions in stimulus checks went out.”
“While the recent spate of federal aid is clearly a major factor, it’s still too early to know how much of the recent drop in hunger is related to the stimulus payments and stepped up food aid versus how much has been fueled by the improving economy. Economists have found that previous rounds of stimulus checks also led to declines in hunger amid major spikes of unemployment.”
“experts say that the US food supply remains robust despite disruptions caused by coronavirus.
That doesn’t mean that a shopper will be able to walk into any supermarket at any time of day and find the items they’re looking for. Grocery stores have been facing spot shortages between restocking, which occurs overnight, so people might have better luck in finding what they need if they shop in the morning.
Still, the US Department of Agriculture hasn’t seen any nationwide shortages of food, an agency spokesperson told Vox.”
“Most of what Americans eat comes from American growers, brokers, factories, warehouses, and distribution centers and is shipped on American trucks. Food production is also spread out across the country, meaning that crises in any one area won’t cripple the system. And many sectors don’t, for the most part, require intensive human labor, instead employing industrial-scale machinery.
Still, some food industries are hurting from the current crisis. Some meatpacking plants have shut down. Farmers are struggling to find buyers for their produce. The price of corn has plummeted, which could put some farms out of business and have a ripple effect on other food industries.
But the most pressing challenge lies not with America’s farmers, but with the supply chain itself. The supply chain has already had to adapt to America’s changing eating habits amid the pandemic — now, consumers are almost entirely dependent on supermarkets, rather than restaurants and the food service sector. The supply chain is still catching up to this sudden shift in demand, but most experts are optimistic that it can adapt.
The question, in other words, isn’t whether there will be enough food. It’s whether that food will end up where consumers can actually buy it.”