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Capital Area Food Bank sees up to 300% increase in need. Want to help?

WUSA9 partnered with United Way of the National Capital Area for its 8th annual Do More 24 to help families in our community.
Credit: WUSA

WASHINGTON — We live in a kind and generous community. While COVID 19 has changed the way we live, it hasn’t changed the way we give. On May 5th we are partnering with the United Way of the National Capital Area for this year’s “Do More 24.”

Up to 20% more of our neighbors are experiencing food insecurity during this pandemic.

That means you probably know someone who might need a hand. Perhaps you’ve seen long lines at free grocery giveaways or various food donation events. Capital Area Food Bank CEO Radha Muthiah says there’s a bigger picture.

“These are extraordinary times we live in,” Muthiah said. “We have seen anywhere from a 30 to 300% increase in need.”

A typical client seeks out the Capital Area Food Bank for three to four days’ worth of food a month. That’s increased to two weeks. There’s also been a surge in calls to the hunger lifeline.

RELATED: United Way's Project Homeless Connect

The Capital Area Food Bank used to be able to count on retailers like Giant, Safeway or even Amazon for 60% of their resources, but when residents across the DMV flooded stores, it strained their supply. It means the food bank has to dig deep into its coffers to drive the mission forward.

“We are having to purchase therefore you know truck loads, tens, hundreds of truckloads worth of food just to keep our inventory level. Let alone meet this extra demand,” Muthiah said.

The food bank typically serves about 400,000 clients around the region. Those people alone need 3 to 4 times the amount of food each time they come to one of the food pantries the Capital Area Food Bank supplies.

The money helps to fund organizations like Martha’s Table, Bread for the City, Food for Others and Manna Food Center.

For 40 years, the Capital Area Food Bank has been a lifeline for people living on the margins. This crisis is unprecedented. Already, they’ve had to purchase more food in a month than they did in all of last year. Muthiah says bulk orders that used to come within 2 weeks now take 6-8 weeks to arrive.

She says this changing landscape will continue to impact the community long term.

“This is not with us for the next 4 week or 6 weeks. We’re projecting this to be with us for the next 12 to 15 months.”

But YOU can help!

Join with us to fuel our neighbors to be at their best. Support the Capital Area Food Bank. For every dollar they receive, the food bank can provide 2 and a half meals. They have significant purchasing power.

It just needs a boost.

To support this life sustaining work – click here.

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