18:39 GMT26 September 2020
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    A May 6 report by the Brookings Institution reveals that nearly a fifth of young children in the US have not had enough to eat since the COVID-19 outbreak started.

    The report's findings were based on the two “nationally representative surveys,” namely the COVID Impact Survey and the Hamilton Project/Future of the Middle Class Initiative Survey of Mothers with Young Children.

    In the Survey of Mothers with Young Children, the researchers found that 17.4% of mothers with children aged 12 or younger said their children were not eating enough due to lack of funds. Of those mothers, 3.4% reported that it was “often the case” that their kids weren’t eating enough due to “a lack of resources since the coronavirus pandemic began.” In the COVID Impact Survey, 34.4% of respondents with children under 12 said they had experienced food insecurity since the novel coronavirus outbreak began.

    "It is clear that young children are experiencing food insecurity to an extent unprecedented in modern times," lead researcher Lauren Bauer is quoted as saying, according to AFP.

    "Food insecurity in households with children under 18 has increased by about 130% from 2018 to today," she added.

    The report also found that the rates of food insecurity in April 2020 were “meaningfully higher than at any point for which there is comparable data” between 2001 and 2018.

    “Looking over time, particularly to the relatively small increase in child food insecurity during the Great Recession, it is clear that young children are experiencing food insecurity to an extent unprecedented in modern times,” the report states.

    More than 33.5 million applications for unemployment benefits have been filed in the last seven weeks in the US, according to the Wall Street Journal. Last week alone, 3.2 million Americans filed jobless claims, the US Labor Department reported.

    The Labor Department’s employment report for April, which will be released Friday, is expected by experts to show that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the largest one-month hit to the US labor force ever recorded.

    According to economists who spoke to the Wall Street Journal, the new report will show that from March 15 to April 18, the unemployment rate increased to 16.1%, and employers eliminated 22 million nonfarm payroll jobs, which is “the equivalent of eliminating every job created in the past decade,” the outlet noted. 


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