Much of the hunger literature talks about how it is important to assure that people are well fed so that they can be more productive. That is nonsense. No one works harder than hungry people. Yes, people who are well nourished have greater capacity for productive physical activity, but well-nourished people are far less willing to do that work.
Since the first national lockdown in March, the number of families struggling to make ends meet and access food has grown, as the economy has suffered and vital jobs been lost.
In May, a YouGov poll commissioned by the charity Food Foundation found that 2.4 million children (17%) were living in food insecure households. And by October it said an extra 900,000 children had been registered for free school meals.
Government figures have revealed that lack of money forced millions of people to go hungry or rely on food banks during the first few weeks of the coronavirus lockdown, with families and young adults worst affected.
Households with children, people with health issues and people aged 16-24 were most likely to either to skip meals or use food charities to feed themselves or their family in April and May, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) data showed.
- American farmers are being forced to destroy their crops, dump milk and throw out perishable items that can’t be stored.
- Dairy farmers are dumping out as many as 3.7 million gallons of milk every day,.
- Chicken processors have been forced to euthanize chickens because of the reduced capacity in plants.
Many people are already going hungry in the United States; many more will face hunger or starvation in other parts of the world.
The world has never faced a hunger emergency like this, experts say. It could double the number of people facing acute hunger to 265 million by the end of this year.
The coronavirus has sometimes been called an equalizer because it has sickened both rich and poor, but when it comes to food, the commonality ends. It is poor people, including large segments of poorer nations, who are now going hungry and facing the prospect of starving.