Food Insecurity Doubles – May 15, 2020

Food insecurity doubles due to coronavirus, may exceed Great Recession


One-fifth of Americans say they have had trouble getting enough food to eat during the economic turmoil of the cornavirus pandemic, a nearly overnight doubling of food insecurity in the United States, according to a national poll released on Thursday.



As more meatpacking workers fall ill from Covid-19, meat companies decline to disclose data


As Covid-19 has swept through meatpacking facilities, it has been hard to figure out exactly how many workers have gotten sick or died of the virus. Some companies have shared numbers on positive cases, but most of the largest meatpackers have kept that data private. Critics say that the lack of disclosure puts public health at risk, especially as nearly all idled meat plants reopen.

As coronavirus weakens ag sector, federal payments may be key

If 2019 was stressful for farmers and ranchers, with low commodity prices and bad weather for crops, the coronavirus crisis is compounding the economic challenges this year, said three Federal Reserve banks in recently released quarterly reports.

New USDA regulation waives review of many biotech plants

Three decades into the agricultural biotechnology era, the USDA said on Thursday that it will exempt genetically engineered plants from pre-market reviews if they are unlikely to pose an environmental risk.


Borden wins big food box contract (edairynews): Borden Dairy won a $147 million contract to provide 700 million servings of milk to nonprofit organizations in 16 states through the USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box program.



Another ‘dark’ store for Whole Foods (Grocery Dive): Amid the boom in online grocery shopping, Whole Foods has converted one of its Chicago stores to delivery-only service. It will be the chain’s sixth “dark” store nationwide.



Forecasting locust hordes (Washington Post): Scientists are using a computer model developed to forecast the flow of air pollution to anticipate where swarms of desert locusts, the world’s most destructive migratory pest, will land next in East Africa.



Renewable energy closes the gap (InsideClimate News): Renewables could overtake coal as the leading U.S. source of electricity by the end of this year, in part because of economic disruptions caused by the coronavirus, according to the Energy Information Administration.



‘Hero’ pay is disappearing (Los Angeles Times): Although grocers and other retailers offered workers financial incentives, including bonuses or temporary raises, during the coronavirus pandemic, those pay raises are starting to ebb away.

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