Video PlayerClose by Matthew Rusling WASHINGTON, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) — Kara Ross, president and CEO of Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, said the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the local economy hard. “Lots of people here have service industry jobs like restaurants or hotels or tourism. Even if they’re employed, their hours have been cut,” Ross told Xinhua. With a surge of people struggling to make ends meet, the area’s food insecurity rate has skyrocketed to 40 percent, from a pre-pandemic 14 percent, Ross said. The situation mirrors that of communities nationwide, as government-imposed lockdowns and draconian restrictions have sparked high jobless rates not seen since the massive recession that followed the 2007-2008 economic meltdown. But if a silver lining is to be found, it’s that local businesses and ordinary people nationwide have stepped up in droves to donate to food banks. “Our community and donors are very generous,” Ross said. “It’s rewarding to see neighbors helping neighbors,” she said, adding that the majority of her organization’s funding comes from donations from individuals and local businesses. Ross’ organization is now distributing around 1 million pounds of food — double that amount it usually handles, she said. That underscores that vital role… Read full this story
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