“I am proud to be donating additional proceeds from ‘The Last Dance’ to Feeding America and its member food banks in the Carolinas and Chicago,” Jordan said.
Hit doc does more than entertain
The timing of MJ’s donation is excellent, as Feeding America warned earlier this month that more than 54 million Americans could soon be facing food insecurity — a number that rivals recession statistics.
“What we’ve seen has been, unfortunately, a steady level of greatly, significantly increased need since the pandemic started,” said Katie Fitzgerald, the nonprofit’s chief operating officer. “About 40 percent of the people who are showing up for food distributions have never before had to rely on charitable food assistance.”
In April, the US Department of Agriculture said it had set aside more than $1.7 billion to assist food banks in the then-looming crisis.
‘It’s a relief’
She wasn’t eligible for unemployment and was relying on money she has set aside for her daughters’ college fund to survive, she told CNN.
Totaling her car several weeks ago made her life only more arduous. She’s grateful for the weekly deliveries from Agatha House, she said.
“I didn’t even know where that was going to come from,” she said. “It’s a relief that somebody is actually thinking about me.”
Agatha House is seeing many new faces, with 100% increase in demand since the pandemic began, founder Jeanette Joseph-Greenaway said.
The Bronx, New York’s poorest borough, serves as a microcosm of the national crisis: It has the highest number of Covd-19 cases and the highest unemployment rate in the five boroughs, demonstrating how the pandemic and its severe side effects threaten to compound already glaring health disparities among low-incomes families.
Hunger, health issues hit minorities hardest
The congressional district that includes the Bronx, which is composed mostly of Black and Latino households, is the nation’s second worst when it comes to food insecurity among children — a condition that’s only exacerbated by school closings.
“There are 22 million children who even before this pandemic relied upon free and reduced lunch,” Feeding America CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot said. “When you hear that schools are closed, not only does that mean that there are challenges for children with an education, but it also means lost meals.”
Status knows this all too well.
“I have to constantly buy food because now I have to supply food for breakfast. Now, I have to supply food for lunch,” she said.
Before the pandemic, Black Americans were nearly two-and-a-half times as likely to live in food-insecure households as White Americans, while Latinos were twice as likely, according to Feeding America, whose projections for 2020 indicate 18 of the 25 counties that will be hit the hardest are majority African American.
CNN’s Lauren Lee and Vanessa Yurkevich contributed to this report.