Nearly a fifth of young children in the United States have not been eating enough since the coronavirus pandemic broke out. This emerges from studies that highlighted the broader health effects of the crisis on Wednesday.
According to the Brookings Institution report, 17.4 percent of mothers with children under the age of 12 stated that their offspring did not eat enough due to lack of money.
"It is clear that young children are suffering from an unprecedented level of food insecurity," said lead researcher Lauren Bauer.
"Food insecurity in households with children under the age of 18 has increased by around 130 percent from 2018 to the present," she added.
The survey measuring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic showed worse numbers than during the 2008 financial crisis.
Bauer described the results as "alarming" and told the New York Times that households were reducing portion sizes and children were forced to forego meals.
Having school meals disturbed could also be a factor, as families don't pick up meals from distribution points and older siblings compete for limited supplies at home.
Bauer urged the government to increase food security programs and improve performance levels.
At least 30 million American workers have lost their jobs in the economic shutdown to prevent the virus from spreading.
The April employment report, due to be released on Friday, is expected to show that the unemployment rate – perhaps up to 20 percent – is rising and reaching a level that has not been reached since the global economic crisis in the last century.
The new corona virus infected nearly 1.2 million people in the United States and killed around 72,000 people. Analysts fear that part of the economic damage could be long-term.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)