Some People Struggling to Feed Families Turn to Shoplifting | Inside Edition

Some People Struggling to Feed Families Turn to Shoplifting

Fifty-four million Americans are going hungry every day, up 45% from last year, according to the USDA.

There are long lines at food banks across the country as a result of the economic woes created by the coronavirus pandemic. Now, some people struggling to feed their families are shoplifting stapes like bread, eggs and milk.

Fifty-four million Americans are going hungry every day, up 45% from last year, according to the USDA.

In New York City, corner convenience stores, also known as bodegas, are stocked with essential items people need in their daily lives. At the beginning of the pandemic, they were lifelines for hard hit communities. But as the months wore on, the mom and pop stores became, more than ever before, targets for shoplifters.

Fernando Mateo represents bodega owners.

“People rob blatantly. They know there are cameras everywhere yet they still take the risk,” Mateo said. “It’s up maybe 200-300% in some bodegas.”

Mateo says while he feels some sympathy for shoplifters trying to feed their families, some of the thieves are just that — thieves.

“Bodega owners are poor people as well you know you are not robbing from the rich you are robbing from the poor,” Mateo said.

The organization "No Kid Hungry" is working to provide food for those children who are experiencing food insecurity.  

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