MILWAUKEE - As we take steps towards overcoming the coronavirus pandemic, relief programs developed to help those impacted are nearing their end, in particular, when it comes to food assistance. A return to some pre-pandemic practices may not be a good thing.
"People are in need, and we are not at the end of this," said Maureen Fitzgerald, Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin.
At Feeding America, staff is preparing for something they’re calling the food cliff.
"In the next year, we’re going to see a lot of people who have been receiving help from the federal government during the pandemic, all of that is going to come to an end," said Fitzgerald.
As we return to normal, some food assistance programs are going away.
"So we know it’s coming, and we know there are going to be many people in need and there is not going to be as much help as there has been," said Fitzgerald.
The "Farmers to Families Food Boxes" program is set to stop at the end of May, and other FoodShare programs and specific pandemic relief funds will cease either in fall or at the end of 2021.
"It’s really important to make sure that we’re not leaving people out in the cold just when they’re getting back on their feet," said Fitzgerald.
Sounding the alarm, Feeding America is asking you to start speaking up.
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
"Talk to the elected officials who represent you and say, ‘Hey, we want to make sure that people are taken care of,’" said Fitzgerald. "There is a portion of the state budget that helps people get local food from their community into families in need and that’s a really easy thing for our state to take action on."
And don’t stop donating or volunteering.
"It is really something as simple as coming together as a community, making sure that we’re taking care of people who are in need right now," said Fitzgerald.