The coronavirus pandemic is shaking America’s food supply and production system. And after only a few weeks, it appears much of it is failing the stress test.

Even as food banks nationwide are inundated with hungry Americans, many of the country’s farmers are dumping or destroying their harvests. Amidst a pandemic that has seen tens of millions of workers laid off, the nation’s food banks have struggled to cope with the surge in demand for their vital services.

In San Antonio, over 10,000 people lined up overnight in their vehicles in the hope of receiving a box of basic foods. “Needs have skyrocketed not just here but around the country,” one Washington, D.C. organizertold MintPress last week. Meanwhile, a veteran Louisiana food bank employeesaid the current situation is graver than it was after Hurricane Katrina. Food banks are going millions of dollarsover budget trying to keep up with surging demand; one estimatesuggests that one in three people seeking groceries at pantries last month had never done so before. Those who manage the facilities are worried that they will soon be completely drained of food.

Yet even as hunger rises, economics dictates that farmers across the country are dumping, discarding, or failing to harvest vital foods. Dairy farmers arepouring rivers of fresh milk down the drain every day. Pig farmers are slaughtering piglets en masse. Meanwhile, ripening fruits and vegetables are beingleft to wither and die on the vine or in the ground.


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