Report: Covid-19 to worsen food insecurity around globe

The worldwide fight against the coronavirus pandemic will reduce income in countries where food insecurity is already high, leading to increased demand for food aid, said the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in a quarterly report. "While agricultural production has been comparatively unaffected and supplies of staple foods are reported to be generally ample or stable, income losses due to the measures implemented to contain the spread of the disease and the overall economic downturn are likely to increase the severity and prevalence of food insecurity," said the Crop Prospects and Food Situation report.(No paywall)

Risk of ‘food nationalism’ as coronavirus pandemic sweeps world

The world's grain reserves are large, with a bumper crop on the horizon, but the coronavirus pandemic has already inspired agricultural protectionism in a small number of countries, said analysts in a think tank paper this week. Separately, former Agriculture Undersecretary Catherine Woteki said protectionist policies could spark "food nationalism" at a time when trade could minimize food shortages. (No paywall)

Largest annual increase in grocery prices since 2011

Grocery prices will rise by a higher-than-average 3 percent this year, due largely to the coronavirus-propelled surge in the cost of meat, poultry, and fish at the supermarket, forecast the USDA on Thursday. It would be the largest annual increase since 2011. (No paywall)

A grassroots push for higher SNAP benefits

Anti-hunger activists hope one-on-one conversations with senators on their home territory over the next couple of weeks will overcome opposition to a 15-percent increase in SNAP benefits during the coronavirus pandemic. Republican senators, backed by the White House, blocked attempts earlier …

Boost SNAP benefits by 15 percent, groups ask Senate

An increase in SNAP benefits "must be part of an effective, comprehensive response to Covid-19," said 2,500 anti-hunger, medical, religious, labor, farm, and consumer groups in a letter to Senate leaders. Republican senators, who blocked recent proposals by House Democrats for higher SNAP benefits, are expected to decide soon whether to draft a new coronavirus relief bill. (No paywall)

Survey: Unrelenting food insecurity during pandemic

One in five US households say they often or sometimes run out of food, a persistently elevated level of food insecurity as the nation faces its fourth month of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Covid Impact Survey. "Despite some public benefits in place, this is still very high," said Nick Hart, president of the Data Foundation, which launched the survey.(No paywall)

There are holes in USDA’s Food Box, say congressional Democrats

When Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue talks about hunger relief during the pandemic, he puts the spotlight on the USDA's Farmers to Families Food Box program. He took part in three Food Box events last week and is scheduled to speak at one in Lakeland, Florida, on Monday. Meanwhile, Democrats in the House and Senate question if the donation program is a fair and efficient way to help families. (No paywall)

Food insecurity doubles due to coronavirus, may exceed Great Recession

One-fifth of Americans say they have had trouble getting enough food to eat during the economic turmoil of the cornavirus pandemic, a nearly overnight doubling of food insecurity in the United States, according to a national poll released on Thursday. (No paywall)

USDA food boxes for charity called ‘inefficient’

The "farmers to families food box," a $3 billion part of the Trump administration's coronavirus relief package, may not be an efficient use of taxpayer dollars although it is aimed at two vexing issues during the pandemic – crops with no buyers and food banks overwhelmed by demand, said a panel of analysts on Monday.