People wait in their cars for the San Antonio Food Bank to begin distributing food on April 9.
William Luther/The San Antonio Express-News/AP

With people out of work, food banks are stepping up

Updated 9:09 PM ET, Wed April 15, 2020

People wait in their cars for the San Antonio Food Bank to begin distributing food on April 9.
William Luther/The San Antonio Express-News/AP

The coronavirus pandemic has put millions of Americans out of work, and more and more families are turning to food banks to get by.

Food banks across the country are reporting a 40% increase in demand, according to Feeding America.

Many are offering drive-through services where groceries can be loaded into people's vehicles. We've seen these lines stretch for miles as people seek staples such as milk, eggs, rice and canned goods.

Healthy Waltham, a nonprofit in Massachusetts, usually serves 250-300 people at its monthly food pantry. When it opened for the first time during this crisis, 900 people showed up.

"We ran out of food in 45 minutes," executive director Myriam Michel told The Boston Globe. "The need has increased tremendously."

The Treasure Coast Food Bank in Florida usually feeds 500 families during a typical distribution. They were prepared to hand out at least twice that on Friday, April 10.

"Now there's also people that were working but have lost their jobs or had their hours cut," chief resource officer Krista Garofalo said. "These are people who have never needed assistance before.

"We'll be working in the community as long as we're needed."