by Michael Snyder, End Of The American Dream:
When I repeatedly warned that a large portion of the population was completely and utterly unprepared for any sort of a serious economic downturn, I was not exaggerating one bit. A survey that was taken last August found that 59 percent of Americans were living paycheck to paycheck at that time, and that wasn’t going to be a major problem as long as the paychecks kept rolling in. But now we have seen the biggest spike in unemployment in the history of our country, and millions of workers suddenly don’t have paychecks coming in anymore. In just a matter of weeks, economic desperation on a massive scale has erupted from coast to coast, and the stress that this is putting on food banks and other charities that work with the poor has been unprecedented.
Everyone has seen photos of the “bread lines” during the Great Depression of the 1930s, but in many instances the lines of vehicles that are lining up for free food here in 2020 are even longer.
For example, just yesterday vehicles lined up for “about a mile” at a “pop-up food pantry” in Van Nuys, California…
A pop-up food pantry in Southern California on Thursday drew so many people that the line of cars waiting for free groceries stretched about a mile (1.6 km), a haunting sign of how the coronavirus pandemic has hurt the working poor.
Hundreds of other people, many wearing trash bags to shelter from the rain, arrived at the one-day grocery giveaway on foot, forming a blocks-long queue in Van Nuys, in the central San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles.
At Feeding San Diego’s emergency drive-thru distribution Saturday, vehicles lined up 14 deep in the SDCCU Stadium parking lot for boxes filled with produce and nonperishable food. About 1,200 vehicles were served until the food bank ran out in just under an hour.
I can’t recall ever seeing anything quite like this.
Yes, things got really bad during the last recession, but not this bad.
Over the last two and a half weeks, Feeding San Diego has purchased more food than it normally does in an entire year, but it hasn’t been nearly enough to meet the crushing demand.
Of course scenes like this aren’t just happening in California. On Thursday morning, a line of vehicles that was “miles” long formed outside of a food distribution event in Las Vegas…
Food distribution for Las Vegans in need prompted a line of cars to form for miles Thursday morning in central Las Vegas.
Cars stretched from Rancho Drive, where food was being handed out at Palace Station, all the way past Valley View Boulevard.
And the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank has been making headlines for quite a while now because the demand for food has been so great. The National Guard has actually stepped in to help distribute food there, and NBC News is reporting that the line of vehicles waiting for food on Monday afternoon was “over 2 miles long”…
On Monday afternoon, at one of its drive-thru distribution operations, over 15,785 pounds of food were handed out every hour. The line of vehicles wrapped down a nearby highway and stretched over 2 miles long.