Economic Collapse Blog: UN World Food Program Warns Of “Famines Of Biblical Proportions In 2021”

This article comes from Michael Snyder at the Economic Collapse Blog – UN World Food Program Warns Of “Famines Of Biblical Proportions In 2021” As Some Americans Wait 12 Hours For Food

The UN World Food Program was the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2020, and the head of that agency is warning of the potential for absolutely devastating famines around the globe in 2021.  The COVID-19 lockdowns that were instituted all over the world this year created tremendous hardship in many wealthy countries, but in poorer nations the economic devastation has created alarming waves of hunger.  There was hope that things would get better when lockdowns were being lifted, but now a new round of lockdowns is being imposed, and many experts are warning about what this could mean for those living in deep poverty.

David Beasley was absolutely thrilled when his agency was given the Nobel Peace Prize, because all of the attention has given him more opportunities to ask for money.  Because without a massive influx of money, he says that we are going to see “famines of biblical proportions in 2021”

The head of the World Food Program says the Nobel Peace Prize has given the U.N. agency a spotlight and megaphone to warn world leaders that next year is going to be worse than this year, and without billions of dollars “we are going to have famines of biblical proportions in 2021.”

As I have previously explained to my readers, widespread crop failures along with the economic shutdowns brought on by COVID-19 have put a tremendous amount of stress on global food distribution systems.  Food prices are rapidly rising all over the planet, and this is hurting the people at the bottom of the economic food chain the most.

According to Beasley, many areas of the globe are potentially facing a major food crisis “in the next three to six months”

According to a joint analysis by WFP and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization in October, 20 countries “are likely to face potential spikes in high acute food insecurity” in the next three to six months, “and require urgent attention.”

Of those, Yemen, South Sudan, northeastern Nigeria and Burkina Faso have some areas that “have reached a critical hunger situation following years of conflict or other shocks,” the U.N. agencies said, and any further deterioration in coming months “could lead to a risk of famine.”

Here in the United States, the good news is that nobody is facing starvation at this point.

But the bad news is that we are in the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and some Americans are waiting in line for up to 12 hours for handouts.  If you don’t believe this, here is an excerpt from a news report about a food distribution event that just happened in Texas

Thousands of families lined up to receive groceries at a Texas food bank this weekend, some queuing for as long as 12 hours as the on-going coronavirus pandemic continues to inflict hunger and economic hardships on the state.

The food bank distribution event, held by North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) in Dallas on Saturday, saw 600,000 pounds of food given away – including 7,000 turkeys.

You have to be pretty desperate to be willing to wait in a line for 12 hours.

But when you are very hungry and you are very short on money, all of a sudden you will be willing to do things that you wouldn’t normally do.

For those that wouldn’t have a Thanksgiving dinner otherwise, this food distribution event was “a real big deal”

“I see blessings coming to us cause we all struggling. And I appreciate North Texas helping us out,” resident Samantha Woods said while waiting in her vehicle.

“I haven’t been working since December, can’t find a job, they cut my unemployment, it’s a real big deal,” said Cynthia Culter.

Elsewhere, millions upon millions of impoverished Americans are facing the possibility of being evicted from their homes right after the holiday season is over.

A national moratorium on evictions is scheduled to end on January 1st, and it is being reported that we could see a record number of evictions in January 2021…

An estimated 11 to 13 million renter households are at risk of eviction, according to Stout, an investment bank and global advisory firm. It predicts there could be as many as 6.4 million potential eviction filings by January 1, 2021 if the CDC moratorium is lifted.

Since the order does not cancel or freeze rent, all of the tenant’s back rent will be due come January 1. Without rent relief or an extension of the protection, many struggling renters will — again — face eviction.

I have a feeling that the moratorium may be extended, but that will just put even more financial stress on landlords.

And at some point there will be no more moratoriums, and all of that back rent will be due, and most of those households will not be able to pay it and will be evicted anyway.

…(continues)

Zero Hedge: Million New Yorkers Can’t Afford Food As Hunger Crisis Worsens

From Zero Hedge, Million New Yorkers Can’t Afford Food As Hunger Crisis Worsens

In the seventh month of the virus pandemic, New York City is still in shambles, with more than half a million residents unemployed as the small business collapse continues. Broadway is closed, Manhattan offices are empty as remote work dominates, violent crime is surging, and an exodus of people from the city has created a perfect storm of economic chaos that will hunt many New Yorkers for years.

A byproduct of the virus-induced economic downturn is food and housing insecurity for millions of people in the Tri-state area. Deep economic scarring produced by permanent job loss has left many people in a bind; some working-poor may never recover while others could take years.

Food and housing insecurity will be, or should be, a hot subject as millions in the Tri-state area are suffering ahead of the holidays. Readers may recall in early October, the Community FoodBank of New Jersey warned that more than one million New Jerseyans were expected to suffer food insecurity by the end of the year.

Now the problem is becoming more widespread. At least one million New Yorkers are expected, or will soon, experience food insecurity, according to FOX 5 NY.

Alexander Rapaport, the executive director of Masbia soup kitchen network, said, “We have done disasters before, but nothing is even close to what we are doing now,” referring to the long lines at food banks across the city is all too common.

Masbia is a nonprofit soup kitchen network and food pantry, with Borough Park and Flatbush locations in Brooklyn and Forest Hills in Queens. Rapaport said there had been a 500% increase in demand.

In a separate report, NYT estimates the number of New Yorkers who are going hungry could be upwards of 1.5 million.

Denise Allen, a mother who visits one of Masbia’s food banks, said:

“I’m on a limited income. I visit every two to three weeks,” said Allen.

Rapaport said, “there is so much need. So much so that for the last three days, Rapaport, his staff, and volunteers have been operating around the clock. All three locations are now open 24/7, feeding 1,500 families a day, but it is still not enough.”

With demand high for food banks in the city, he said long lines have developed, which forced him to create an entirely new system in what he calls digital food bank lines.

“You now have to make an appointment to pick up your box of food,” Rapaport said.

Meanwhile, it’s not just the Tri-state area that is in economic distress, with millions going hungry while others are at risk of eviction; Feeding America, one of the nation’s top food banks, recently warned that it may run out of food in the next twelve months as demand has overwhelmed its network.

Food and housing insecurity for millions of people across the country signals the transmission mechanism of stimulus, if that was through fiscal or monetary, has failed to support the working poor.

Organic Prepper: Food Shortages Hit China

Adding to recent warnings about food shortages, here is an article from The Organic Prepper which discusses shortages in China. Food Shortages Hit China: There Is “not…enough fresh food to go around”

Over the past few weeks, I have been writing articles regarding a coming food shortage. I’ve been pointing out that the food shortage is going to hit the United States hard but that it is also going to hit the rest of the world.

A worldwide fit of hysteria over COVID, resulting in the shutdown of the world’s economy, interruption of the supply chain, and the destruction of food products, as well as international trade wars and natural disasters, are going to collide with one another and make this winter one of the toughest on record.

China is publicly acknowledging a coming food shortage.

But while many have dismissed my claims, I’d like to draw your attention to the fact that China is now publicly acknowledging a coming food shortage. (And as noted in this article, when they admit there’s a problem, it’s a BIG problem. ) In fact, China even has an anti-food-wasting campaign going on across the country right this minute encouraging people to eat half portions or at least make sure to finish their plates.

In an October 5, article for the New York Times entitled “China’s mealtime appeal amid food supply worries: Don’t take more than you can eat,” Eva Dou writes,

On the surface, China’s campaign to encourage mealtime thrift has been a cheerful affair, with soldiers, factory workers and schoolchildren shown polishing their plates clean of food.

But behind the drive is a harsh reality. China does not have enough fresh food to go around — and neither does much of the world.

The pandemic and extreme weather have disrupted agricultural supply chains, leaving food prices sharply higher in countries as diverse as YemenSudanMexico and South Korea. The United Nations warned in June that the world is on the brink of its worst food crisis in 50 years.

“It’s scary and it’s overwhelming,” Arif Husain, chief economist of the United Nations World Food Program, said in an interview. “I don’t think we have seen anything like this ever.”

Those are strong words, to say the least.

Right now, the food products in China that are facing the toughest situation are corn and pork. China’s pork industry was hit hard by African Swine Fever (at least we are told) and flooding ruined a large portion of China’s corn crops. But it’s not just those two products that are at risk. Fresh food of every kind is in short supply for the same reasons as the United States, i.e. insane shutdown policies.

China is claiming that it is not in a food crisis currently and it is attempting to reassure the population that it has enough wheat in reserve to feed everyone for a year. But the reality is different from the claims, as China’s pork prices rose 135 percent in February, and floods killed so many vegetable crops.

You may wonder how this shortage in China affects us.

Ironically, China is dependent on the United States to bridge its corn shortfall. Despite the fact that we are allegedly in a trade war with China and the fact that Americans will soon be facing a shortage of food of their own, it’s likely that the good ol’ USA will tell its citizens to take one for the team yet again and help stabilize the brutal Communist dictatorship that Americans built by shipping their jobs overseas with Free Trade.

Political unrest goes hand in hand with food insecurity.

And it’s true that China’s government may not view the food crisis as the biggest concern. Instead, it views political unrest as the biggest threat. Political unrest, unfortunately for the Chinese Communist Party, is a direct result, especially in China, of food insecurity.

Both of its major political disruptions – the 1950s and 1980s – came at a time when food was in scarce supply.

But, for now, China is attempting to convince its population to embrace austerity voluntarily and through social shaming (like America’s masks) in order to stave off the crisis a little longer. Dou describes the “Clean Plate’ push in her article by writing,

Beijing’s solution has been a sunny “Clean Plate Campaign” launched in August, with the aim of curbing food use without prompting public alarm. Like the American Victory Gardens of World War II, the campaign is as much about trying to unite the country around a patriotic mission in a time of hardship as it is about securing the food supply.

Restaurants across the nation are dishing out “half-servings” in line with the drive. Some, such as the upscale Peking duck chain Quanjude, have instructed servers to nag diners not to waste. Other restaurants are fining people for leaving too much on their plates.

At one elementary school in southern China, students must send teachers short videos of their dinner each night to verify they are cleaning their plates, according to the state-run People’s Daily. A number of university canteens are giving away fruit and other small gifts to students who finish their lunches.

Even billionaire Jack Ma, founder of the online retail giant Alibaba, has been filmed trying to save food. A recent viral video shows him asking for his unfinished crab and lobster to be boxed up to go.

“Pack it up, pack it up, pack it up!” he says in the video. “I will eat it on the plane.”

Government officials are, of course, forbidden from holding lavish banquets during this period.

This is a global problem.

World Food Program economists have already estimated that 270 million people globally are suffering from hunger this year. That’s more than twice last year’s amount. That number does not include China, the United States, and Europe as they are all considered food-secure countries.

Given what everyone can see with their own eyes on American shelves and the recent “clean plate” campaign in China, the term “food secure” is being used liberally these days.

While we may get lucky and dodge the bullet, we strongly encourage you to prep while you can.  Even if no major shortages occur, you’ll be hedging your bet against food prices that will almost certainly increase dramatically over the next few years.

Multiple Calls to Prepare for Food Shortages

Recently there has been a spate of calls to prepare for food shortages from a variety of fronts. These videos are 3-4 weeks old, but the news articles after are all within the last week and don’t include all the news about potential famines in several African nations and N. Korea.

WSOC TV: Local food banks prep as nationwide food shortage looms

Bloomberg: Tesco Chairman Warns Brits May Face Food Shortages After Brexit

Bloomberg: The World Is Bracing for More Pressure on Food Needs

Winnegpeg Free Press: Pandemic Gardens – Fears over food shortages, rising prices lead first-timers to get growing

Organic Prepper: Supply Chain Is Broken and Food Shortages Are HERE

Robert Wheeler at The Organic Prepper writes The Supply Chain Is Broken and Food Shortages Are HERE.

If you are a reader of this site, you might be more interested in the food supply chain than most, at least when things are good. So, if you have been paying attention recently, you might find that there have been some severe disturbances in that supply chain.

Several months ago, the immediate disruptions began at the beginning of the COVID-19 hysteria, when factories, distribution centers, and even farms shut down under the pretext of “flattening the curve.”

As a result, Americans found necessities were missing on the shelves for the first time in years. Items like hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes were, of course, out of stock.

Soon other items became noticeably missing as well.

People began to notice meat, and even canned vegetables and rice were soon missing from the shelves. Most of this was simply the result of mass panic buying, although “preppers” were blamed for “hoarding.” Therefore, people who had not been prepping all along and were suddenly caught with their pants down.

But that’s not the whole story.

Manufacturing and packaging facilities and slaughterhouses shut down due to intrusive totalitarian government reactions to an alleged pandemic. Combined with panic buying, those facilities’ ability to replace what was bought up was drastically reduced. As a result, consumers were forced to wait weeks before buying what they needed (or wanted) again. Even then, they had to show up in the morning.

We are still experiencing those shortages, though better hidden. As anyone who shops regularly can tell you, you can find what you need, but you may have to go to three stores to get it, where one would have done in the past. In this article, you’ll find some advice about dealing with the limited varieties of inventory that people are currently noticing at stores.

War launched on the economy by state governments put millions of Americans out of work.

Now, when most rational people would be happy to have a job at all amid such high unemployment, they were prepared to stop the machine’s wheels from working.

Workers suddenly started to organize, strike, and walk off the job conveniently when the food supply was already broken. Of course, these workers had not organized or initiated a strike at any time before when working conditions were bleak, and wages were low.

While extraordinary times beget extraordinary reactions, the timing of the newfound sense of workers’ resolve cannot go unnoticed.

At the same time, we witnessed farms dumping thousands of gallons of milk down the drain, meat producers slaughtering animals and burying them, and farmers destroying crops all over the country and the world.

The reason for this is two-fold.

First, many major producers would not want a glut of their product on the market and see their prices dropdown.

Second, with the totalitarian measures forcing the shut down of restaurants across the country, many farms and producers lost a massive part of their market, thus destroying it.

A government genuinely concerned with its people’s health would have bought that produce and either distributed it or freeze-dried and stored it for the coming apocalypse.

Indeed, the Trump administration attempted this with some very minor success and high cost. Food banks at least benefited. But the damage to the food supply was already done.

And then came the winds.

As time moved forward, we saw devastating straight-line winds blow across places like Iowa, destroying massive amounts of crops and farming infrastructure, effects rarely advertised on mainstream media outlets.

Following those winds, we saw massive wildfires along the West Coast’s entirety from Washington to California and as far east as Colorado, South Dakota, and Texas.

One need only take a look at the map at fires seemingly heading east, burning up prairies and farmland all along the way to see that the food chain will experience yet even more hiccups once the smoke has cleared.

But while leftists claim the fires are the natural result of “climate change” and conservatives blame lack of adequate forest management (which has some merit), both completely ignore the fact that close to ten people were arrested for setting these fires.

Repeatedly, arsonists are being arrested for starting blazes though the motive is unclear. Those of us who have studied history, however, can speculate with some certainty.

But these problems are not unique to the United States.

Countries all over the world are experiencing supply chain problems. Australia, for instance, is about to run out of its domestic rice supply by December entirely.

Now, here we are, with winter fast approaching and the food supply decimated. The world’s population is walking around masked and terrified of getting within six feet of another human, and the cities all across America are on fire with violent riots.

Communists and the inevitable response are clashing in the streets and threatening to turn in to a possible American Civil War 2.0. What role will hunger play in this scenario?

At the moment, we can’t say for sure.

But what we can say with certainty is that this will be a very long, very trying winter.

Food shortages are coming, and they aren’t too far away.

You do not have much time left before the items you can grab now are gone and gone for good. Here are some tips for shopping when there aren’t many supplies left on the shelves, and here’s a list of things that are usually imported from China that we haven’t been receiving in the same quantities (if at all) since the crisis began.

Many of the readers of this website will be prepared, no doubt, but others won’t. Not only do we advise you to prepare – but we also advise you to be ready for the unprepared.

Have you seen shortages in your area? Do you still have quantity limits on certain purchases? Some areas seem better stocked than others.

Stars and Stripes: Hunger Is Threatening to Kill More People than COVID this Year

Volunteers distribute food packets people in need after a week-long restrictions were imposed by district officials to contain the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, in Kathmandu on August 31, 2020. PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES/TNS

Via Stars and Stripes, Hunger is threatening to kill more people than COVID this year details global hunger concerns because of supply chain problems and lockdowns.

The world is hurtling toward an unprecedented hunger crisis.

As many as 132 million more people than previously projected could go hungry in 2020, and this year’s gain may be more than triple any increase this century. The pandemic is upending food supply chains, crippling economies and eroding consumer purchasing power. Some projections show that by the end of the year, COVID-19 will cause more people to die each day from hunger than from virus infections.

What makes the situation unmatched: The massive spike is happening at a time of enormous global food surpluses. And it’s happening in every part of the world, with new levels of food insecurity forecast for countries that used to have relative stability.

In Queens, New York, the lines snaking around a food bank are eight hours long as people wait for a box of supplies that might last them a week, while farmers in California are plowing over lettuce and fruit is rotting on trees in Washington. In Uganda, bananas and tomatoes are piling up in open-air markets, and even nearly give-away prices aren’t low enough for out-of-work buyers. Supplies of rice and meat were left floating at ports earlier this year after logistical jams in the Philippines, China and Nigeria. And in South America, Venezuela is teetering on the brink of famine.

“We’ll see the scars of this crisis for generations,” said Mariana Chilton, director of the Center for Hunger-Free Communities at Drexel University. “In 2120, we’ll still be talking about this crisis.”

COVID-19 has exposed some of the world’s deepest inequalities. It’s also a determining force in who gets to eat and who doesn’t, underscoring global social divides as the richest keep enjoying a breakneck pace of wealth accumulation. Millions of people have been thrown out of work and don’t have enough money to feed their families, despite the trillions in government stimulus that’s helped send global equities to all-time highs.

On top of the economic malaise, lockdowns and broken supply chains have also created a serious problem for food distribution. The sudden shift away from restaurant eating, which in places like the U.S. used to account for more than half of dining, means farmers have been dumping milk and smashing eggs, with no easy means to redirect their production to either grocery stores or those in need.

Don Cameron of Terranova Ranch in California took a hit of about $55,000 this year on his cabbage crop. Almost half the loss – $24,000 – came because Cameron decided to donate to local food banks after demand from his usual customers dried up. He had to pay for the labor needed to do the harvesting and truck loading. He even needed to cover the cost of some bins and pallets to get supplies moved. It would’ve been a lot cheaper to just let the crops rot in the field.

“We know other parts of the country need what we have here. But the infrastructure has not been set up, as far as I’m aware, to allow that. There are times when there is food available and it’s because of logistics that it doesn’t find a home,” said Cameron, who still ended up destroying about 50,000 tons of the crop since nearby food banks “can only take so much cabbage.”

Initial United Nations forecasts show that in a worst-case scenario, about a tenth of the world’s population won’t have enough to eat this year. The impact will go beyond just hunger as millions more are also likely to experience other forms of food insecurity, including not being able to afford healthy diets, which can lead to malnutrition and obesity.

The effects will be long lasting. Even in its best-case projections, the UN predicts that hunger will be greater over the next decade than forecast before the pandemic. By 2030, the number of undernourished people could reach as high as 909 million, compared with a pre-COVID scenario of about 841 million.

The current crisis is one of the “rarest of times” with both physical and economic limitations to access food, said Arif Husain, chief economist with the UN’s World Food Programme.

By the end of the year, as many as 12,000 people could die a day from hunger linked to COVID-19, potentially more than those perishing from the virus itself, charity Oxfam International estimates. That’s calculated based on a more than 80% jump for those facing crisis-level hunger.

Projections for increased malnutrition also have a profound human toll. It can weaken the immune system, limit mobility and even impair brain functioning. Children who experience malnutrition early in life can see its impact well into adulthood.

“Even the mildest forms of food insecurity have lifelong consequences,” said Chilton of the Center for Hunger-Free Communities. Problems with physical and cognitive development in children and adolescents can hamper the chances of staying in school or getting a job, continuing a cycle of poverty.

Government programs, food charities and aid organizations have mobilized across the globe, but the need far outstrips their reach. The UN’s WFP aid group alone needs a record $13 billion for the year to deliver food in 83 countries, and at the start of the second half faced a shortfall of $4.9 billion to meet the goal.

Hunger can spark seismic shifts in the political landscape. Going back to the days of the French Revolution, food insecurity has sent people into the streets demanding better conditions. Surging food prices were part of the economic crisis that helped fuel recent protests in Lebanon and demonstrations over shortages erupted in Chile earlier this year.

Deep-seated inequalities along gender and racial lines also correspond to disproportionate impacts from hunger. In the U.S., for example, Black Americans are two-and-a half times as likely as their White counterparts to have low or very low access to enough food for an active and healthy life. Globally, women are 10% more likely to be food insecure than men.

“We have to make sure that we’re addressing gender inequality – if the international community is not doing that, we will fail to avoid the worst of the hunger crisis,” said Tonya Rawe, a director at hunger relief and advocacy group Care.

Data from the UN show that throughout the world, there are more than enough calories available to meet every individual’s needs. But even in the U.S., the richest country in the world, almost 2% of the population, or more than 5 million people, can’t afford a healthy diet (one that protects against all forms of malnutrition). More than 3 million Americans can’t afford to even meet basic energy needs. In India, 78% of people can’t afford healthy diets – that’s more than 1 billion people. Those figures don’t even take into account the pandemic and its lasting effects.

Costs and logistics prevent food surpluses from being easily shifted to areas without. That’s the dilemma faced by potato farmers in Belgium. When freezers filled during the pandemic, most of their spuds weren’t fit for food banks or grocers. The main variety that’s grown to meet demand from places like the country’s famous fry shops get black and blue spots after just a few days, said Romain Cools of industry group Belgapom. Sales to supermarkets quickly stopped after complaints, and a bulk of the region’s 750,000-ton surplus was instead used for animal feed or biogas.

“It’s hard to take surplus milk in Wisconsin and get it to people in Malawi – it’s just not realistic or practical,” said William Moseley, a geography professor at Macalester College who serves on a global food-security panel.

Despite the abundant supplies, food is growing more expensive because of bungled supply chains and currency devaluations. Costs are up in parts of Africa and the Middle East and they’re also rising in developed countries, with Europeans and Americans paying extra to stock their fridges.

Even within major food-producing countries, being able to afford groceries is never a given.

Latin America, an agriculturally rich region that exports food to the world, is leading this year’s surge in hunger, according to the UN’s WFP.

In Brazil, a huge cash-distribution program has helped millions and driven poverty rates to historic lows. But that hasn’t met all the need. In the country’s northeast, Eder Saulo de Melo worked as a guard at parties until the virus arrived. With events suspended, he hasn’t been paid in months. He’s been locked out of the emergency cash program and the 130 reais ($25) he gets in regular monthly aid goes to energy, water and gas bills, leaving little to feed his three children. Baskets of non-perishables, vegetables, bread and eggs from a non-governmental organization are the family’s main sustenance.

“I needed to stop buying fruit and meat,” he said. “Instead of a slice of chicken, I buy offal to make a soup.”

The hunger estimates for this year have a “high degree of uncertainty,” and the disease’s devastation is largely unknown, the UN cautioned about its figures.

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization began tracking global hunger in the mid-1970s. Current data can’t be compared past 2000 given revisions in methodology, said Carlo Cafiero, team leader for food security statistics. But general trends can be observed, and they show that hunger moved lower over the past several decades until a recent reversal started in 2015, spurred by by climate change and conflicts.

The increases in the last few years are nothing like what is forecast now – even the best-case of the UN’s tentative scenarios would see hunger surge in 2020 more than the past five years combined. And when looking at other notable periods of need in the world, such as the Great Depression, the level of food surplus that exists today is without comparison thanks to the advent of modern agriculture, which has seen crop yields explode.

“It’s impossible to look at the situation and not think we have a problem,” said Nate Mook, chief executive officer of food-relief group World Central Kitchen. “This pandemic has really exposed the cracks in the system and where it starts to break down.”

The Economic Collapse: 50 Million Americans Fighting Hunger by Year End

Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog has a couple of posts up about hunger and food in the US. First up, It Is Being Projected That More Than 50 Million Americans Will Be Fighting Hunger By The End Of This Year

…Because of all the crazy things that have happened so far in 2020, large numbers of people have been forced into dramatic lifestyle changes.  Many Americans have deeply cut their food budgets due to a lack of income, others are now only eating one or two meals a day, and we are seeing more demand at food banks around the country than we ever have before.  It is quite obvious that massive numbers of people are really hurting, and Bloomberg is reporting that it is being projected that the number of Americans that are “fighting hunger” will rise to “more than 50 million” by the end of this calendar year…

The ranks of Americans fighting hunger are projected to swell some 45% this year to more than 50 million.

To me, that is an absolutely staggering figure.

Right now, the U.S. has a total population of about 328 million people, and so that figure that Bloomberg quoted represents a sizable chunk of the country.

And we certainly don’t have to wait until the end of the year for the numbers to get really, really bad.  In fact, it is being reported that one recent survey found that approximately one-tenth of all U.S. households “haven’t had enough food in a given week”

During the pandemic, about a 10th of American households reported they haven’t had enough food in a given week. That’s a shocking figure for the world’s richest country. It’s more than double pre-Covid figures and the highest since comparable government data starts in 1995.

I feel especially bad for the children that are going hungry.

Can you imagine how bad parents must feel when their children tell them that they are hungry and the parents have nothing to provide?

And this is just the beginning.  Food prices are going to continue skyrocketing over the coming year, and that is just going to stretch family budgets even more.

A few days ago, I strongly urged my readers to stockpile food for the chaotic times that are ahead.  Food prices are only going to go higher, and economic conditions are going to continue to deteriorate.

In fact, some more major job cuts were just announced.  For example, Ford just announced that it will be eliminating “1,400 white collar jobs”

Ford is looking to cut 1,400 white collar jobs in a cost-savings move.

The automaker sent out letters to employees Wednesday saying that salaried staff eligible for retirement would be getting early retirement offers next week. Those who take the offer by October 23 would be leaving the company by the end of the year.

And United Airlines just announced that they will be furloughing more than 16,000 workers

With no air travel rebound or new federal help in sight, United Airlines says it will furlough about 20% of its frontline employees in less than a month’s time.

In a new memo to its employees, United (UAL) says that 16,370 employees will be furloughed when payroll restrictions attached to a federal bailout expire October 1.

Because most Americans live paycheck to paycheck, a job loss can plunge a family into dire straits very rapidly.  All over the U.S., we are seeing long lines of people driving very nice vehicles waiting for up to six hours to get food at local food banks.

Over the past 23 weeks, more than 58 million Americans have filed initial claims for unemployment benefits, and many of them have “suddenly” found themselves in need of food.  For a lot of them, it is the first time something like this has ever happened to them.

And so many people that I talk to believe that what we have experienced so far is just the tip of the iceberg and that much worse is coming.  There is such a sense of urgency in the air, and gun sales just keep setting record after record.  In fact, we just learned that gun sales during the month of August were 57 percent higher than last year

And Michael’s advice a few days ago, Buy Lots Of Food And Store It Some Place Safe, Because Very Difficult Times Are Approaching

Things have already gotten quite crazy, but they are going to get even crazier.  Global food supplies have already gotten tight, but they are going to get even tighter.  When even the UN starts using the word “biblical” to describe the famine that the world is facing, that is a sign that the hour is very late.  Thankfully, we are not facing famine in the short-term here in the United States, but “temporary shortages” of certain items have already been popping up, and food prices are aggressively shooting higher.  Earlier today my wife stopped by the grocery store to pick up a couple of things, and one particular item that used to cost about 12 dollars was now 20 dollars instead.  But thanks to the Federal Reserve, this is about as low as food prices are going to get.  The Fed seems absolutely determined to crank up inflation, and that is going to have very serious implications during the times that are ahead.  Right now we have a window of opportunity before the next wave of trouble comes along, and I would greatly encourage you to use this window of opportunity to buy lots of food and store it some place safe.

Some people seem to think that if they have stored up a couple months worth of food that they will be just fine.

Unfortunately, that is not the reality of what we are facing.  The truth is that you should have enough food to feed every single person in your household for an extended period of time, and many of you will need much more than that.  Because when things get really crazy, many of the friends, neighbors and extended family members that neglected to prepare will come knocking on your door asking for help.

There are some people that would turn away those friends, neighbors and extended family members, but I couldn’t do that.  Yes, they are at fault for refusing to get prepared, but I just couldn’t turn them out into the street.

If you also plan to assist those around you that are in need, that just makes your job even bigger.  In the end, there is a limit to what any of us can do, and so we will do what we can with what we have and we will leave the rest to God.

The overwhelming demand that we are witnessing at food banks around the nation right now gives us some clues about what we can expect as economic conditions get even worse.  In Alameda County, vehicles are lining up “as early as seven in the morning” just to get a little bit of food from the local food banks…

“They start lining up as early as seven in the morning and this will run for six straight hours” said Altfest.

Hundreds of cars slowly snake their way through the parking lot across from the Acura dealership on Interstate 880. Folks from all walks of life driving everything from Toyota’s, BMW’s, to Mercedes, all coming to get food. Folks are grateful for the charity.

When I read that quote from a local CBS news report, it struck me that it sounded almost exactly like what Heidi Baker said when she saw people waiting in line to get food…

And I saw all these people and they had beautiful cars, 4 by 4’s and Lexus, Mercedez, BMW’s, Toyotas. There they were with fancy shiny cars, but they were standing in line.

On the east coast we are seeing similar things happen.

In fact, there was a quarter-mile line at the break of dawn at a food bank in Queens on Saturday

The line stretched a quarter-mile before the sun was barely up Saturday, snaking around corners like bread lines in the 1930s. But the hungry in Queens are today’s New Yorkers, left jobless by the coronavirus.

Until the pandemic struck the city, La Jornada food pantry used to hand out groceries to roughly 1,000 families a week. Now, the figure tops 10,000. And volunteers serve lunch every day to 1,000 — many of them kids with growling stomachs. Across the five boroughs, the hungry number in the hundreds of thousands, the Food Bank of New York estimates.

I found it quite interesting that the New York Post is comparing what is happening now to the “bread lines in the 1930s”.

This is the reality of what we are facing people.  So many people are already in desperate need, and this “perfect storm” is just getting started.

In the Richmond, Virginia area things are even worse.  According to one recent report, vehicles have been lining up at one food bank “as early as six hours” before it opens…

Seattle Times: Washington State Stockpiling Food

Derek Sandison, director of the Washington state Department of Agriculture, tours a Fife warehouse Friday that’s packed with nonperishable food the state can tap if demand at food banks and other distribution centers soars amid the pandemic and resulting economic collapse. (Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times)

From the Seattle Times, From peanut butter to applesauce, Washington state stockpiles tons of food for the need ahead. Note that even The Seattle Times references the “resulting economic collapse” as a reason for having food stockpiled.

In Washington state’s new food warehouse, there’s enough Jif peanut butter to make nearly 3 million sandwiches.

Barilla pasta boxes stretch to the ceiling, 100,000 in all. Large stacks of TreeTop applesauce, pancake mix and canned green beans sit on pallets, like soldiers waiting to be sent into duty.

Since the coronavirus crisis first rocked Washington in March, nonprofits and state agencies working in food assistance have been forced to draw a completely new road map for getting food to people who need it.

The warehouse in Fife is part of that new model. After seeing food banks struggle to meet demand once the pandemic hit and the economy tanked, the Washington state Department of Agriculture (WSDA) began preparing to buy and stockpile tons of food to ward off a shortage in the months ahead.

The new stockpile is driven by two major factors: A nearly doubling in demand for food assistance across the state and a national food supply chain that is bogged down amid an overwhelming surge in demand.

As many as 2.2 million Washingtonians — about 30% of the state’s population — are facing food insecurity, according to Katie Rains, WSDA food policy advisor. That’s more than double the 850,000 state residents who sought help from food assistance programs last November, before the pandemic. 

We’ve been in this very desperate situation starting toward the end of March,” said WSDA Director Derek Sandison. “This [warehouse] is a continuation of our efforts to make sure we have fusions of product that will help us to continue to weather the storm.”

The storm took hold in mid-April, Sandison said during a tour of the warehouse on Friday. That’s when the state’s three main food bank distributors — Food Lifeline, Northwest Harvest and Second Harvest — told the WSDA that based on the spike in requests for food assistance, the organizations had roughly a two-week supply of food for hunger relief.

“We went into panic mode,” Sandison said. “That’s not an exaggeration. … So we jumped in with both feet and started active procurement on our end.”

But as the WSDA was trying to buy as much nonperishable food as it could to increase the state’s emergency reserves, so was everyone else.

Not only was the WSDA competing with other states and large national food-assistance programs, it also faced competition from grocery stores as national supplies of products such as pasta and peanut butter were becoming increasingly hard to come by.

“Peanut butter was a very highly wanted and needed commodity,” said Gary Newte, sourcing and product director for Northwest Harvest. “Peanut butter prices have probably tripled in the last three to four months.”

These high costs are having significant effects on the big food bank distributors’ bottom lines.

“Over a seven-month span during this crisis, we’ll spend more on purchasing food than we have for the previous four years combined,” said Thomas Reynolds, CEO of Northwest Harvest.

And six months into the pandemic and economic crisis, those costs haven’t gone down, Newte said. Many food distributors are still waiting on food they ordered months ago, he said…

Click here to read the entire article at The Seattle Times.

 

TMIN: Get Prepared for Coming Food Shortages

The Most Important News writes about existing and forecast food shortages in You May Not Understand This Now, But You Need To Get Prepared For The Food Shortages That Are Coming

I was going to write about something completely different today, but I felt that I needed to issue this warning instead.  Even before COVID-19 came along, crazy global weather patterns were playing havoc with harvests all over the globe, the African Swine Fever plague had already killed about one-fourth of all the pigs in the world, and giant armies of locusts the size of major cities were devouring crops at a staggering rate on the other side of the planet.  And now this coronavirus pandemic has caused an unprecedented worldwide economic shutdown, and this has put an enormous amount of stress on global food supplies.

On the official UN website, the United Nations is openly using the term “biblical proportion” to describe the famines that are coming.  Even if COVID-19 miraculously disappeared tomorrow, a lot of people on the other side of the world would still starve to death, but of course COVID-19 is not going anywhere any time soon.

Here in the United States, our stores still have plenty of food.  But empty shelves have started to appear, and food prices are starting to go up aggressively.

In fact, we just witnessed the largest one month increase in food prices that we have seen since 1974.

For a long time I have been warning my readers that eventually a loaf of bread in the U.S. will cost five dollars, and one of my readers in Hawaii just told me that “my wife came home with ½ loaf of bread for $2.99”.

So it appears that the day I have been warning about has already arrived for some people.

Of course the price of meat is going up even faster than the price of bread.  The following is an excerpt from an email that one of Robert Wenzel’s readers in Alaska just sent him

Our local Costco as of now, beef hamburger is $9 a pound, and steaks are $18 a pound. Hamburger was at $3.50 a pound before all this.

Our local butcher shops, that butcher and package the little local beef that is raised here, are all out of meat.

Luckily, I have a couple moose in our freezers, and plenty of canned smoked salmon, and salmon season is coming soon again.

Hopefully the price of hamburger has not nearly tripled in your area yet, but without a doubt meat prices are going to just keep heading higher.

Ultimately, it is all about supply and demand.  Meat processing facilities have been shut down all over America due to COVID-19, and this is starting to create some really annoying shortages

If you go to Wendy’s this week, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to get a hamburger. Go to the supermarket and you’ll probably see some empty shelves in the meat section. You may also be restricted to buying one or two packs of whatever’s available. Try not to look at the prices. They’re almost definitely higher than what you’re used to.

This is the new reality: an America where beef, chicken, and pork are not quite as abundant or affordable as they were even a month ago.

But as I keep reminding my readers, the only reason these meat shortages are so severe is because many farmers are unable to make their normal sales to the processing plants that have closed down.

As a result, a lot of these farmers have been forced to gas or shoot thousands of their animals

For farmers in Iowa, Minnesota, and other Midwestern states, they have had little choice but to euthanize the backlog of animals, which means gassing or shooting thousands of pigs in a day, according to The New York Times.

The financial and emotional repercussions on the farmers are profound. Some farmers lose as much as $390,000 in a day, said the report. So far 90,000 pigs have been killed in Minnesota alone.

In the end, a lot of farmers may have to go out of business after being financially ruined during this crisis, and we will seriously miss that lost capacity in the days ahead.

Because the truth is that global food supplies are only going to get tighter and tighter.  As I have discussed previously, UN World Food Program Executive Director David Beasley has warned that we are facing “the worst humanitarian crisis since World War Two”, and he insists that we could soon see 300,000 people literally starve to death every single day…

“If we can’t reach these people with the life-saving assistance they need, our analysis shows that 300,000 people could starve to death every single day over a three-month period”, he upheld. “This does not include the increase of starvation due to COVID-19”.

And did you catch that last part?

He specifically excluded the effects of COVID-19 from his very ominous projection.

So the truth is that the number of people starving to death each day could ultimately end up being far, far higher.

In wealthy western countries, starvation is not an imminent threat.  But what we are seeing is an explosion of hunger that is absolutely unprecedented.  All over America, people have been lining up “for hours” at America’s food banks so that they can be sure to get something before the supplies run out…(continues)