ROCHESTER, Minn. - Unemployment and poverty rates increased during the pandemic which in turn created a rise in food insecurity across the region.
Freeborn County says 2,900 people are dealing with hunger this year which is up from 2,730 in 2018.
Channel One Regional Food Bank says the COVID-19 pandemic has aggravated the problem especially in minority communities including Black, Latino and Native American Households.
Programs and Agency Services director Jennifer Belisle explained, “They experience food insecurity at higher rates than white families in our communities and we've also learned in the last year that the impact of unemployment, hospitalization and mortality due to COVID has been much higher in those communities as well.”
Channel One does say the region's hunger problems are expected to remain the same even as more people get vaccinated.