As job losses soar, so does the number of people unable to afford basic groceries. Around the country, lines of cars and people now wait hours for food assistance — a phenomenon usually associated with the Great Depression.
But food insecurity in the United States — and Massachusetts — existed well before the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. By some estimates, 9% of people in the commonwealth faced food insecurity before COVID-19.
Now, as more than a million people — roughly a quarter of the state’s workforce -- have lost their jobs, demand on food pantries has sky-rocketed.
To learn more, WBUR's Bob Oakes took a virtual tour of one the 500 or so food pantries in Eastern Massachusetts. The Watch City Market used to be a once-a-month event, held in the parking lot of St. Mary's Church in Waltham.
Now the food giveaway happens weekly — and the event's organizers say the increased demand stretches the limits of what they're able to provide.
Listen to the story atop the post or see more photos here:
This article was originally published on May 22, 2020.
This segment aired on May 22, 2020.