Fighting Food Insecurities During the COVID-19 Pandemic

McKesson Foundation provides more than six million meals to those in need.



Read time: 2.5 minutes

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the country, more Americans are dealing with financial hardship forcing families to face the real possibility of going hungry. According to the USDA’s most recent food security report, more than 37 million people, 11 million of whom are children, are impacted each year. And with the recent economic and health crisis, those numbers are increasing rapidly as food banks from Atlanta to New York to Dallas struggle to keep up with the demand.

In response to this unprecedented need, McKesson Foundation partnered with food insecurity experts in some of the nation’s most vulnerable populations, investing millions of dollars in more than a dozen food banks. This investment translates to more than six million meals for individuals who would otherwise go hungry.

“Health and hunger are intrinsically linked,” says James Frison, president of the McKesson Foundation. “Families in food-insecure households have limited access to nutrient-rich foods, if they have access to food at all, which can adversely affect their health. And as the pandemic has dramatically widened the hunger gap in the United States, our hope is that these investments provide necessary resources to local experts who are offering respite to their citizens who are most impacted.”

More people than ever before are visiting food banks and many for the first time. Paul Stermer, director of development for the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley in Cornwall-on-Hudson, N.Y., said, “With McKesson’s support, we’ve been able to meet the challenge of a nearly 50 percent increase in the demand for emergency food brought on by the pandemic – that’s more than six million pounds of food in three months.”

The Atlanta Community Food Bank’s Cameron Turner, director of institutional giving also noted, “We are so honored and overwhelmed by the McKesson Foundation's generous gift. Thank you so much for standing with us in the fight against hunger during this unprecedented time.”

Several factors were considered as McKesson evaluated which food banks to invest in, including selecting markets where its employees work and live as well as understanding the surrounding communities’ resilience to withstand external stresses on human health. At the end of that research, the company identified the following 13 food banks:

Atlanta Community Food Bank in Atlanta, Ga.; Feed More Food Bank in Richmond, Va.; Feeding Northeast Florida in Jacksonville, Fla.; Food Bank of the Hudson Valley in Cornwall-on-Hudson, N.Y.; Gleaners Community Food Bank in Detroit, Mich.; Houston Food Bank in Houston, Texas; Mid-Ohio Food Bank in Columbus, Ohio; Mid-South Food Bank in Memphis, Tenn.; North Texas Food Bank in Dallas, Texas; Northern Illinois Food Bank in Geneva, Ill.; Second Harvest Food Bank in Nazareth, Penn.; Southeast Tacoma Nourish Food Bank in Tacoma, Wash., and St. Mary’s Food Bank in Phoenix, Ariz.

Whether it’s a public health crisis or a natural disaster, McKesson Foundation will continue to dedicate financial resources, provide access to healthcare supplies and promote volunteerism to fight for the wellbeing of people during the most threatening situations.