Protests against police brutality across the U.S. are having the unintended consequence of limiting access to food for low-income and minority children, who already face record high levels of food insecurity because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a June 2, 2020 op-ed in The Hill co-authored by Sara Bleich, professor of public health policy at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Among the key factors threatening children’s food security during the protests are the closing of looted grocery stores; the shuttering of businesses, including those that sell food, to prevent damage; and the suspension of meal service distribution sites designed to make up for the loss of school meals during the pandemic.
The authors also provided recommendations for improving child food security, including actions by Congress and communities.
Bleich also wrote a June 4 op-ed in The Hill urging protesters to wear face masks to minimize the risk of transmission of the coronavirus. “I beg you to put on your masks and just yell a little louder to make your voices heard,” she wrote.
Read June 2, 2020 op-ed in The Hill: Protecting hungry children during the fight for racial justice
Read the June 4, 2020 op-ed in The Hill: Protest, demand change—but, please, put on your mask