With less than a week until Thanksgiving, the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic is forcing some Americans to go to food banks for the first time.
At a food drive in DeKalb County, Georgia, people lined up at 5:30 a.m. ET for an event that was not supposed to start until 10 a.m., CNN’s Natasha Chen reported.
And as expanded unemployment benefits are set to expire in the next few weeks, food drive volunteers and local officials are urging the US government to act.
“I’m pleading to our leaders in Washington — Republicans and Democrats — to really look around and see and understand the amount of pain and distress that is spreading across this nation,” DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond said in an interview with Chen at the food drive. “And I'm pleading with them to come together to either extend the deadline for these funds or to send out a second stimulus package that will help families who are in need, begging them to rise above the discord and the rancor and do what's right for the people of this nation.”
Meanwhile, at the First Unitarian Church in Los Angeles, volunteers are working to ensure residents do not go hungry this Thanksgiving. They expect about 1,000 people to line up today.
“These are unprecedented times, and whether it's a holiday or whether it's another Saturday, it's now up to volunteers to feed the people. This is an essential service…that's being handled by volunteers because the federal government is failing to address basic safety nets for people,” organizer Trinity Tran said to CNN’s Paul Vercammen.
If you are facing food insecurity today, learn how to get help here.