Nearly 150,000 District residents have filed for unemployment insurance as business closures during the coronavirus pandemic led to reduced hours and layoffs. And many residents have applied for food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
“I’m saddened by the fact that the numbers spiked up,” said George Jones, chief executive of Bread for the City, a nonprofit group that provides food, medical care and legal services to low-income D.C. residents. “But I’m not surprised, because we’ve seen similar spikes in our own food pantry and demand for food there.”
Before the pandemic, Bread for the City served 400 households in the District on its busiest days, Jones said. Now, the organization is distributing food to 1,000 households a day. The Capital Area Food Bank’s nonprofit partner network, which includes Bread for the City and serves the Greater Washington region, has seen increases between 30 and 400 percent, according to