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Volunteers hand out groceries on April 20 at a food bank opened in response to the coronavirus in El Monte, California. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Children in the U.S. are currently experiencing food insecurity that is "unprecedented in modern times," Lauren Bauer of the Brookings Institution's Hamilton Project wrote on Wednesday.

The big picture: Millions of children around the world are endangered by malnourishment and poverty as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the United Nations warned last month.

What they found: More than 1 in 5 U.S. households were food insecure by the end of April, Bauer writes — marking the greatest increase since at least 2001.

  • 40.9% of mothers with children under 12 years old responded in an April survey that their families had experienced food insecurity since the pandemic began.
  • 34.5% of homes with a child 18 years or younger have had difficulty getting enough food, the University of Chicago's COVID Impact Survey found.

Between the lines: The latest report from the UN's food agency says those struggling with food insecurity often have greater incidence of underlying health conditions that weaken immune systems and can "increase the risk of people developing severe COVID-19 symptoms."

Methodology: Bauers' data is based on a coronavirus impact survey of 2,190 adults April 20–26 by NORC at the University of Chicago, and a Brookings' survey of 1,307 mothers living with children ages 12 and younger conducted April 27–28 via SurveyMonkey. MOE ± 3.0% for both surveys.

Go deeper: Food banks demand surges amid coronavirus crisis

Go deeper

Aug 14, 2020 - Health

The kids who are most at risk from the coronavirus

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The coronavirus isn't as deadly for children as it is for adults, but kids still get it and can still get seriously sick from it. The risk is higher for Black and Hispanic children.

Why it matters: In communities with high caseloads, cases among children could explode as schools reopen. And kids in the communities already hit hardest by the pandemic are the most at risk.

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

Aug 14, 2020 - Health

The pandemic's toll on mental health

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

One in four Americans between 18 and 24 years old say they've considered suicide in the past month because of the pandemic, according to a survey from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

Why it matters: The findings confirm warnings from public health experts about the long-term mental health impacts from the pandemic.