Food insecurity has been a more pressing problem since the coronavirus pandemic left millions unemployed. According to Census data, 16.5% of households with children reported that it was sometimes or often the case that the children were not eating enough due to a lack of resources during the week of June 18-23 2020, 5.5 times the 2018 rate of 3%.
Jessica Beatus, Discovery Inc. Group VP of Standards and Practices and Social Good, told Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade it was time to take further action as part of their initiative, Turn Up! Fight Hunger.
“Food insecurity in America is completely solvable,” Beatus says. “It really is an issue of awareness and efficiency.”
As part of the initiative, Discovery launched a 30-second public service announcement on Food Network and TLC. People can also text the word “hungry” to 707070 to donate to the cause. Beatus says it takes more than corporate social responsibility to make “real meaningful change,” but also empowering viewers across their networks, 25% of whom are mothers themselves, to take action too.
It’s “the value of the public and private partnership,” she says. “We’re giving our consumers all kinds of options from really basic donations, to being able to connect with representatives and Congress members to have them vote on policies that will impact ending childhood hunger and also volunteer opportunities.”
Since the launch of the "Turn Up! Fight Hunger," more than 312 million meals have been provided to kids in need.
“Part of what Congress is looking at right now, as they look at the stimulus package, is extending SNAP benefits...extending that and the P-EBT would make it a lot easier,” she says. (P-EBT, or Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer, are temporary food benefits, were part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, to help cover the cost of meals children would otherwise would have received at school.)
Brooke DiPalma is a producer for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter at @BrookeDiPalma.