Demand for food is expected to grow 60 percent by 2050. According to the chief economist at the World Food Program, as many as 135 million people worldwide are already facing severe food shortages, but COVID-19 is forecasted to double that number by the end of the year.
Though the spectre of world-wide food insecurity looms dangerously on the horizon, the scope and gravity of this problem is particularly acute in parts of the U.S. In the state of Washington, nearly 1 in 3 individuals could face some sort of food insecurity in the coming year with people of color affected disproportionately.
Despite years of economic progress, the pandemic is on track to precipitate a potentially devastating increase in the number of Washington state residents who lack reliable and consistent access to sources of affordable, nutritious food.
A recent study conducted by McKinsey & Company on behalf of Northwest Harvest suggests that the food insecure population will quadruple in Washington State as a result of the crisis.