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Residents line up in their cars at a food distribution site in Clermont, Fla., Nov. 21. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Thousands of Americans waited in long lines at food banks in the week before Thanksgiving to pick up turkeys, canned goods, broccoli and other vegetables.

Why it matters: As the holiday season approaches, families across the U.S. are in need of food assistance due to chronic unemployment and economic hardship caused by COVID-19 — and many food pantries already served an unprecedented number of people this spring.

Zoom in: The Middle Georgia Regional Food Bank, part of the Feeding America Network, has distributed almost 3 million meals this quarter — 1 million more than the previous quarter before the pandemic began, NPR reports.

  • Los Angeles' First Unitarian Church expected roughly 1,000 people to line up this weekend, CNN reports, while people in DeKalb County, Georgia, lined up nearly five hours before one food drive opened.
Volunteers distribute turkeys and other food assistance in Clermont, Fla., Nov. 21. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Food Bank for New York City, Tracy Morgan, and Council Member Robert E. Cornegy Jr. distribute turkeys to Brooklyn families, Nov. 21. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank for New York City
Indiana National Guard members help distribute Thanksgiving meals at the Hoosier Hills food bank, Nov. 20. Photo: Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Volunteers with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida and the City of Orlando at Jones High School, Orlando, Fla., Nov. 20. Photo: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Cars line up as Pantry 279 food bank distributes Thanksgiving meals in Bloomington, Ind., Nov. 21. Photo: Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
People line up as Food Bank for New York City distributes turkeys to Brooklyn families, Nov. 21. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank for New York City

Go deeper

14 hours ago - Health

CDC panel: COVID vaccines should go to health workers, long-term care residents first

Hospital staff work in the COVID-19 intensive care unit in Houston. Photo: Go Nakamura via Getty

Health-care workers and nursing home residents should be at the front of the line to get coronavirus vaccines in the United States once they’re cleared and available for public use, an independent CDC panel recommended in a 13-1 emergency vote on Tuesday, per CNBC.

Why it matters: Recent developments in COVID-19 vaccines have accelerated the timeline for distribution as vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna undergo the federal approval process. States are preparing to begin distributing as soon as two weeks from now.

Updated Nov 30, 2020 - Health

Key information about the effective COVID-19 vaccines

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The race for a COVID-19 vaccine is ramping up, with three major candidates now reporting efficacy rates of more than 90%.

Why it matters: Health experts say the world can't fully return to normal until a coronavirus vaccine is widely distributed. But each potential vaccine has its own nuances, and it's likely that multiple vaccines will be needed in order to supply enough doses for universal vaccination.

Updated 20 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus may have been in U.S. in December 2019, study finds — Hospital crisis deepens as holiday season nears.
  2. Politics: Bipartisan group of senators unveil $908 billion COVID stimulus proposalFDA chief was called to West Wing to explain why agency hasn't moved faster on vaccine — The words that actually persuade people on the pandemic
  3. Vaccine: Moderna to file for FDA emergency use authorizationVaccinating rural America won't be easy — Being last in the vaccine queue is young people's next big COVID test.
  4. States: Cuomo orders emergency hospital protocols as New York's COVID capacity dwindles.
  5. World: European regulators to assess first COVID-19 vaccine by Dec. 29
  6. 🎧 Podcast: The state of play of the top vaccines.