9 organizations fighting hunger during the coronavirus crisis
The coronavirus pandemic has profoundly affected everyday life—including, for millions of people around the world, how and whether healthy meals happen. With mandated school and business shutdowns, as well as social-distancing measures in effect to help curb the spread of COVID-19 illness, many households have lost income, access to meal services, and more, resulting in widespread food insecurity.
Read on for 10 organizations that have committed to fighting hunger during and after the coronavirus crisis, along with links to make a charitable donation if you’re in a position to help.
Organizations working for coronavirus hunger relief:
1. No Kid Hungry
Run by Share Our Strength, a nonprofit working jointly to solve hunger and poverty, No Kid Hungry is a national campaign supporting 22 million children in the U.S. who rely on free and reduced-price school meals. With mass school closures in effect, students have missed almost 235 million breakfasts and lunches.
No Kid Hungry is cooperating with state and federal agencies to directly support children in need; provide emergency grants to food banks and community groups; distribute resources to the hardest-hit communities; and raise awareness of services among families to help keep children healthy and nourished.
2. Feeding America
The Feeding America network is the country’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization. The group recently launched its COVID-19 Response Fund, a national food- and fundraising effort to support food banks and the people they serve. Initiatives include building an inventory of emergency food boxes for national distribution, providing emergency grants to food banks to fund local response efforts, and continuing to distribute food and household items such as cleaning supplies, diapers, and personal care items to households in need.
3. Meals on Wheels
A leadership organization that supports more than 5,000 community-based programs across the country, Meals on Wheels is focused on reducing isolation and hunger among seniors. More than 2 million Meals on Wheels staff and volunteers provide seniors with nutritious meals, friendly visits, and safety checks.
The organization’s newly established COVID-19 Response Fund will go toward replenishing seniors’ food supplies, subsidizing additional transportation and personnel costs, and enabling tech-based solutions for connecting with and supporting community members during the crisis.
4. United Way
United Way’s mission is to “fight for the health, education, and financial stability of every person.” A national network of United Way offices combats hunger on the community level. For instance, United Way of New York City provided almost 2 million meals to New Yorkers in need through its Hunger Prevention Nutrition and Assistance Program. And United Way of Southeastern Connecticut operates a food bank and mobile pantry that distributed more than 285,000 meals in 2019.
Through United Way Worldwide’s COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund, the organization aims to provide vulnerable citizens with food, shelter, support, and accurate health and safety information concerning the pandemic.
5. Boys & Girls Clubs of America
The 160-year-old national organization is focused on providing safe places for kids and teens. Boys & Girls Clubs of America, in partnership with its more than 4,700 local clubs, has announced “a national support strategy to continue to ready Clubs to serve local communities during this global COVID-19 pandemic—providing meals, programming, and support to those who need it most.”
As a large, international crowdfunding community, GlobalGiving connects nonprofits, donors, and companies around the world. The organization has launched a Coronavirus Relief Fund developed to feed children who rely on school meals, as well as send doctors, nurses, and other frontline care providers to communities in need. Organizers say the fund will also procure lifesaving medical supplies—such as masks and ventilators—for hospitals and clinics, as well as deliver essential items to struggling families and individuals in hard-hit cities and refugee camps.
7. Action Against Hunger
A global humanitarian organization, Action Against Hunger is devoted to ending malnutrition around the world, as well as universalizing access to clean water. In 2019, its relief efforts reached over 20 million people in more than 45 countries. Action Against Hunger is addressing COVID-19 by stepping up water, sanitation, hygiene, and health programs for families in hard-to-access regions.
8. Wholesome Wave
This U.S. nonprofit is dedicated to increasing affordable access to nutritious foods that are locally and regionally produced. Understanding that food-insecure families and communities require additional support in the midst and wake of the coronavirus crisis, Wholesome Wave is working to grow the number of low-income households it serves with an expanded supply of fresh, high-quality produce needed to support good health.
9. WW Good Foundation
WW International’s nonprofit social-impact initiative is part of a global movement to support underserved communities in becoming healthier. Donations to the WW Good Foundation help lower barriers to nutritional education, access to fresh food for families, and safe spaces for exercise and movement. Given the mounting economic and health hardships posed by the coronavirus pandemic, the foundation’s mission is more vital than ever.
Maressa Brown is a writer and an editor in Los Angeles specializing in health and lifestyle topics. She’s written for Shape, InStyle, Parents, The Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, Better Homes and Gardens, and Women’s Health, among other outlets.