RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – An increasing number of Americans have faced food insecurity since the start of the pandemic. Numbers from the nonprofit Feeding America showed 18 to 19 percent of North Carolinians experienced food insecurity in 2020.
It also found 27 to 29 percent of the state’s children were food insecure.
As a result of the pandemic, more people are turning to their food banks to feed their families, putting mounting pressure on local food banks.
The Food Bank of Eastern and Central North Carolina alone said it fed close to 40 percent more people in 2020 than in past years. Feeding America estimated the need is expected to go up 60 percent next year.
As result, UnitedHealthcare said it would award $60,000 to the Food Bank of Eastern and Central North Carolina and Meals on Wheels Association of North Carolina. The money will be split 50-50.
“The goal of us providing grants to both the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina and the Meals on Wheels Association is to really help increase access to healthier food, more culturally appropriate foods, in rural areas and underserved communities throughout North Carolina,” said Corinna Miller, Director of Community Engagement with UnitedHealthcare North Carolina.
In all, UnitedHealthcare said this money will be added the $1 million they have already donated through their Empowering Health grant program. That money has been split among six nonprofits across North Carolina including the American Heart Association, YMCA and local public health and mental health agencies.
“Our goal in helping people live healthier lives at UnitedHealthcare for this type of programming to continue throughout North Carolina. We want to be part of the solution and helping people, increasing access to care, reducing food insecurity, and working with our local communities,” Miller said.
Click here to get help with food from the Food Bank of Easter and Central North Carolina.
Click here to find a Meals on Wheels program in your area.