Food banks and pantries across the U.S. are scrambling to meet an expected surge in demand as the coronavirus causes many people to at least temporarily lose their jobsBy SCOTT McFETRIDGE Associated PressMarch 18, 2020, 4:16 PM5 min readDES MOINES, Iowa — With the new coronavirus leaving many people at least temporarily out of work, food banks and pantries across the U.S. are scrambling to meet an expected surge in demand, even as older volunteers have been told to stay home and calls for social distancing have complicated efforts to package and distribute food. Food banks have for years been increasing the amount of food they deliver to pantries that pass it along to needy people, but the economic upheaval caused by COVID-19 is expected to cause demand to skyrocket. Meeting the need would be tough enough, but the response has been complicated by a virus that requires people to avoid the kind of close interaction typical in food packaging and distribution. “We’re getting through it,” said Matt Unger, who heads the Des Moines Area Religious Council’s network of 14 pantries. “We’re going to do this as long as we can, as good as we can until we run out


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