Giving Compass’ Take:
• In this video, panelists discuss food security in the U.S., exploring how the pandemic has touched all facets of the food supply chain and system.
• What is the role of donors to fill gaps in regards to the food system as we reopen economies?
• Read more about food insecurity brought on by COVID-19.
Many people had read about food deserts and food security before the coronavirus pandemic, but the last two months has revealed concerning brittleness in the food supply chain. We see reports on farmers destroying food they can’t store while food pantries are over-subscribed. What are the public and private sectors currently doing to ensure supply chains are safe? Who are the portions of the US population are at most risk? What should be the actions to provide food security for the most vulnerable populations? What could be the implications brought by COVID-19 for food security in the future?
Q: You used to run the national food stamp program. What do you think will happen to food prices over the next couple months during the pandemic?
It is clear that there will be some kind of spike in not only foods but in many goods and services simply because we are having to rebuild our economy almost from the ground up. If we simply take the food service industry, that has essentially had to shut down during the pandemic, there are going to be scores of restaurants that never come back. That is food capacity that our society is going to lose. We have not lost the capacity to produce. The challenge of the moment is market access issues for farmers.
Q: What is the reason for the challenge of market access issues for farmers?
The disruption to society of the pandemic is so profound, that it touches every aspect of our existence. If we aren’t smart and strategic about addressing all of those things when rebounding, it’s going to leave marks. What’s especially telling about this moment, is that it has exposed an underbelly of society. This is an opportunity to turn the spotlight on food insecurity so that it becomes a part of the rebuilding process.
Read the full article about food security during COVID-19 at The Aspen Institute.
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