WASHINGTON, D.C. (KAMR/KCIT) — A new study by Northwestern University shows households facing food insecurity in texas has doubled during the pandemic, rising from 13 percent in 2018 to a current rate of nearly 27 percent.

Texas food banks have been serving 400,000 people weekly across the state for the past four months.

Feeding Texas President and CEO Celia Cole says with unemployment benefits due to expire at the end of july she expects this number to increase.

Feeding Texas President and CEO Celia Cole says, “You’re talking about one in four households, we know in communities of color the percentage is even higher, we know with families with children the percentage is even higher, ummm but best case scenario one in four households are struggling to afford food right now.”

Commissioner Sid Miller with the Texas Agriculture Department says it received a quarter of a million federal dollars, along with additional state funding, to help stock food banks across Texas.

Commissioner Sid Miller says, “Between us and the USDA, we delivered 52 million pounds of commodities to those food banks. They’ve been very stressed!”

Food banks never were intended to be the primary response to hunger. They offer supplemental aid. Analysts say, the heavy lift should be done by snap, a federal program which provides food assistance to low income families.

Luis Guardia, the President of the Food Research and Action Center says, snap is our nation’s first line of defense against hunger.

FRAC president Luis Guardia says, “We know for every one meal the food bank provides, snap can provide nine meals.”