Vatican calls attention to growing food crisis from coronavirus

Credit: Steve Knutson via Unsplash

The coronavirus emergency is also causing a food-related crisis, Vatican officials said Saturday, encouraging people to do their small part to help those who are going hungry.

“What happens now with the coronavirus crisis is it is increasing food-related problems,” Fr. Augusto Zampini-Davies said during a livestreamed press conference May 16.

“We know the value of a society is determined by how we treat the poorest, the most vulnerable, so what are we going to do for all these people, who, apart from the health issues, are suffering from hunger or food-related problems?” he asked.

Zampini-Davies is adjunct secretary of the Vatican's Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. He said the COVID-19 emergency is affecting food availability on many levels of society: for example, children who rely on school lunches are going hungry while schools are closed, and supply chains are being impacted by restrictions on imports and exports.

There are also millions of people who have lost their jobs or are being prevented from working by measures intended to control the health emergency, he noted, and this often means going hungry.

"What happens to the millions of people who are helped neither by the market nor by the state, but we are forcing them to stay home?" the priest asked. “What happens to these people? We cannot force them to stay at home without any support.” - CNA