The Other Way Covid Will Kill: Hunger (New York Times)

New York Times: The Other Way Covid Will Kill: Hunger. “Long before the pandemic swept into her village in the rugged southeast of Afghanistan, Halima Bibi knew the gnawing fear of hunger. It was an omnipresent force, an unrelenting source of anxiety as she struggled to nourish her four children. Her husband earned about $5 a day, hauling produce by wheelbarrow from a local market to surrounding homes. Most days, he brought home a loaf of bread, potatoes and beans for an evening meal. But when the coronavirus arrived in March, taking the lives of her neighbors and shutting down the market, her husband’s earnings plunged to about $1 a day. Most evenings, he brought home only bread. Some nights, he returned with nothing.”

AP: A family struggle as pandemic worsens food insecurity

AP: A family struggle as pandemic worsens food insecurity. “At the peak of the coronavirus pandemic this spring, Sharawn Vinson often woke up crying. A recurring thought was making the unemployed single mother desperate: That her kids could go hungry. There was also fear of contracting the virus, which has disproportionately hit low-income Black families like hers. Meanwhile some of the largest protests against racial injustice in decades were transpiring right outside their window, after the family had experienced its own terrifying encounter with police earlier in the year. There were unpaid bills, and feelings of shame from having to go to a soup kitchen in search of a meal.”

Debt, eviction and hunger: Millions fall back into crisis as stimulus and safety nets vanish (Washington Post)

Washington Post: Debt, eviction and hunger: Millions fall back into crisis as stimulus and safety nets vanish. “Major recessions are especially fraught for low-income earners, whose finances can veer from tenuous to dire with one missed paycheck. But as the economy cratered this spring, economists and poverty experts were mildly surprised to discover that the torrent of government support that followed — particularly the $600 a week in expanded unemployment benefits and one-time $1,200 stimulus checks — likely lowered the overall poverty rate. In fact, 17 million people would have dropped below the poverty line without the $500 billion in direct intervention for American families, said Zach Parolin, a researcher at Columbia University. Now, data show, those gains are eroding as federal inaction deprives Americans on the financial margins of additional support.”

Slate: No Relief in Sight

Slate: No Relief in Sight. “It’s been a week since the CARES Act’s enhanced unemployment benefits expired, and two weeks since its eviction moratorium expired. The Paycheck Protection Program, designed to keep small businesses afloat and their employees on board, expires Saturday. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, remains in the double-digits. These deadlines did not sneak up on anyone. The House had passed its sequel to the CARES Act, the $3.4 trillion HEROES Act, in May. But Senate Republicans took a wait-and-see approach until the last minute and, when McConnell finally released his counteroffer, half of his own conference instantly rejected it. With McConnell throwing his hands in the air, the business of propping up the American economy for another few months was left to negotiations between Democratic leaders and Trump’s White House envoys. It’s been a train wreck. Meanwhile, the evictions are set to begin.”

HuffPost: Coronavirus-Linked Hunger Tied To 10,000 Child Deaths Each Month

HuffPost: Coronavirus-Linked Hunger Tied To 10,000 Child Deaths Each Month. “All around the world, the coronavirus and its restrictions are pushing already hungry communities over the edge, cutting off meager farms from markets and isolating villages from food and medical aid. Virus-linked hunger is leading to the deaths of 10,000 more children a month over the first year of the pandemic, according to an urgent call to action from the United Nations shared with The Associated Press ahead of its publication in the Lancet medical journal.”

Bloomberg: Almost 30 Million in U.S. Didn’t Have Enough to Eat Last Week

Bloomberg: Almost 30 Million in U.S. Didn’t Have Enough to Eat Last Week. “Food insecurity for U.S. households last week reached its highest reported level since the Census Bureau started tracking the data in May, with almost 30 million Americans reporting that they’d not had enough to eat at some point in the seven days through July 21. In the bureau’s weekly Household Pulse Survey, roughly 23.9 million of 249 million respondents indicated they had ‘sometimes not enough to eat’ for the week ended July 21, while about 5.42 million indicated they had ‘often not enough to eat.’ The survey, which began with the week ended May 5, was published Wednesday.”

‘We don’t know how it will end’: Hunger stalks amid virus (Associated Press)

Associated Press: ‘We don’t know how it will end’: Hunger stalks amid virus. “Before the pandemic, food policy experts say, roughly one out of every eight or nine Americans struggled to stay fed. Now as many as one out of every four are projected to join the ranks of the hungry, said Giridhar Mallya, senior policy officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for public health. Immigrants, African Americans, Native Americans, households with young children and newly jobless gig workers are among those most at risk, said Joelle Johnson, senior policy associate at the Center for Science in the Public Interest.”

The Catholic Church’s new tool for ending hunger: machine learning (Aleteia)

Aleteia: The Catholic Church’s new tool for ending hunger: machine learning. “Drought, major storms, crop disease, other climate-related events, and illness are ‘shocks’ that threaten food security, says Catholic Relief Services, the American Catholic Church’s overseas aid agency. Now, CRS says it has a tool that it says can help aid agencies better respond to such shocks so that ordinary people don’t go hungry. That tool is called MIRA, or Measurement Indicators for Resilience Analysis.”

ReliefWeb: WFP HungerMap LIVE

ReliefWeb: WFP HungerMap LIVE . “Using the latest metrics on conflict, climate shocks, populations and the weather, HungerMap LIVE aims to identify areas that are sliding towards food insecurity. Covering more than 90 countries, in places where there is limited data available HungerMap LIVE uses artificial intelligence to supply what have been dubbed ‘nowcasts’ —virtually real-time, granular estimates of the food security situation.”

Quartz: This aid agency is using chatbots to beat world hunger

Quartz: This aid agency is using chatbots to beat world hunger. “The UN’s World Food Program (WFP), has been experimenting with text and Facebook messenger chatbots to monitor food insecurity in hard-to-reach areas, turning smartphones and social media into lifelines for the most vulnerable of refugees.”

Poverty: now there’s an app for that (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Poverty: now there’s an app for that. “A Duluth high school student saw a news program about homeless children, and instead of changing the channel he decided to help. Four years and thousands of dollars later, Jack Griffin has developed a free online service that links the hungry with food.” The app and Web site currently work for North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, and part of Michigan.

UN / FAO Relaunches FAOSTAT

This was announced in November but I missed it. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has relaunched FAOSTAT. “It now offers a completely new state-of-the-art user interface, accessible by smartphone and tablet as well as by personal computer. Its search options have been enhanced, filters improved and navigation simplified, while the overall system architecture has been made more flexible, allowing quicker publication of new data sets in the future…. The new FAOSTAT also introduces a new feature, presenting a set of ready-to-use key indicators – ranging from land use and food production to food access and government budget allocations for agriculture – by country, region and for the whole world.”