As a mom, food is my love language. I remember giving my three-year old son apple slices (many, many years ago) and feeling like I was literally giving his little cells fuel to grow a strong and healthy body. When I make my kids lopsided birthday cakes, I am celebrating the sweetness of life through a shared treat. During the pandemic, I can’t help that my daughter is spending her senior year of high school alone in front of a computer screen in the spare bedroom, but I am fortunate that I can prepare a meal with love and share its comfort around the kitchen table. And next week is the holiday that loudly speaks my language, that manifests gratitude with food on the table. Food is family, love, and life.
But because of the pandemic, millions of people do not have enough food to feed their families. In an average week since April, about 24.7 million people – or more than 1 in 10 – reported not having enough food to eat in the prior 7 days. Black, non-Hispanic women and Latinas were more likely than people overall and white, non-Hispanic men or women to experience food insufficiency every single week since April. Between September 30 and October 7, one in six Latinas (16.5%) and one in five Black women (20.1%) reported not having enough food in the past week, making them more than twice as likely than white men (6.8%) to report food insecurity.
Yet again during this pandemic, we are seeing the health, well-being, and very lives of women of color disproportionately harmed. And even as millions of women are unable to meet their basic needs, Republican leaders in the Senate are declining to move forward with a federal relief package that would alleviate their hardship. As a mom, I try to imagine how I would feel if I couldn’t feed my hungry kids. As an advocate, all I can feel is rage that Senate Majority Leader McConnell decided to have the Senate spend the week before Thanksgiving deliberating judicial nominations, rather than voting on a relief package that would put food on people’s tables.
As Thanksgiving approaches in the time of COVID, it’s my job as an advocate and as a mom to speak up for the millions of people who do not have enough food. I am outraged by images of cars lined up for miles waiting at food banks. And I urge you to join me in channeling our outrage to call upon the Senate to pass a robust and comprehensive COVID relief bill immediately.