Families fighting to feed children as coronavirus pandemic continues to impact jobs

There have been long lines at food banks around Washington, D.C., for months. ABC News meets families struggling to keep food on their tables at the Capital Area Food Bank.
5:56 | 11/20/20

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Families fighting to feed children as coronavirus pandemic continues to impact jobs
Reporter: This is no ordinary walk to school. Because you won't see Shauna gray's three children or how she usually gets them dressed, backs their backpacks, backs their lunch. Because in this pandemic, there is no school. And there is no lunch. Unless she makes this walk. A 90-minute journey one way. For my children, it's all worth it. And I wouldn't change a thing. Reporter: For free lunch, which mean dinner too. You are a blessing to me and to my family. Reporter: It's a time Shauna never imagined would get this bad. Sometimes embarrassing. But it' what you have to go Is there a night that you and your husband go without food just to make sure the kids have Most of the time. We will make sure that they have had their portion andaybe another portion before we would eat. And me and dad have kind of gotten to the point of now that we only eat maybe once a day. All right, y'all, let's settle down. Reporter: Meet the gray three kids with special needs. Dad a dishwasher. Shauna a server. Just to get a little bit of food is a hard deal nowadays. Reporter: Both lost their jobs when restaurants were forced to close. Some milk this morning? Shauna, what is the hardest part of your day at this point? When you hear your daughter say, mommy, can we move? Because this place just got too many bugs. Mommy, I'm tired of the mice running across my feet when I go to the bathroom, I don't want to get up and go to the bathroom. My son started peeing on himself. We had worked so hard to get him to go to the bathroom. Which is a task when you have a child that's nonverbal. He goes to the bathroom, but at night he will pee his bed because he's scared that something's going to run across his feet. Reporter: Worried, anxious. But thankful because they are one of 1 in every 7 families getting food from a food bank. Hispanic and black families hit the hardest. Let me ask you guys this. What are your favorite foods that you get from school? Apples. Apples? We got -- we got cheese sticks. And some baloney. Hot dogs. And some -- hm. That's it. Reporter: Fueled by an unprecedented pandemic pace O pay production, this is the capital area food bank. And this is what's happening seven days a week, 18 hours a We have over 200,000 kids who are going hungry every day. And that's a 60% increase just in these last few months of the pandemic. So you're getting families calling in that never expected to ever be in this position? Never, ever. Because they had paychecks. They had jobs. Many may have been living paycheck to paycheck, but they were making things -- they were making things meet. Reporter: She says this pandemic is pushing child hunger to the brink. The capital area food bank has gone from serving 30 million meals to 50 million. You purchased five to seven times more food in this time? That's right. From canned tuna to peanut but tore rice to cereal in the dry area, and produce. 40% of everything we provide to our neighbors in need is produce. Onions, cabbages, potatoes, turnips, carrots. Fresh, healthy, nutritious food. Reporter: Food that right now is an eternal blessing. We thank you for this day, lord god -- Reporter: Every day lines around the corner at every local food bank in the nation's capital. In Jesus' name, amen. Reporter: Rain or shine. I'm a single parent. Just trying to provide for my family right now. I'm not working due to the pandemic. It's just a blessing to be here. Reporter: The number of tripling in just one year. Did you ever think we'd get to this point where you had to go to a food bank? No. I never did think that would ever happen. I didn't ever think it would be this hard. Has there ever been a night where you're lying in bed worried about where the next meal is going to come from? Yes. I do. Yes, I do worry about that. And I pray about it. You know, and I go and I try to figure out what my next step I will have to do, to make sure he's okay. Reporter: He is her grandson, Kamari. He has asthma and Potts, a condition that causes irregular blood flow. He can faint unexpectedly. Amanda has a lung condition. Making masks for extra money and depending on the food bank is their survival right now. What do you want other kids to know about this pandemic, Kamari? That this pandemic is not a joke. This pandemic has taken away so many of my grandmother's family members. Who keeps you strong? Mostly her. Reporter: As is the theme throughout this story, that no matter how hard this time is -- You knonono what I notice about you guys? There's a lot of love in your family. Yeah. Where does that come from? From my mom. Reporter: There is also a lot of love feeding souls too. What keeps you going, Shauna? My faith. My optimism. Because I know I've had a lot of bad things come. But I've had a lot of good. You know, those three little children are my good. Just to see a smile on their face, no matter what I go through that's bad, they're th're worth it. Our thanks to Kyra.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"5:56","description":"There have been long lines at food banks around Washington, D.C., for months. ABC News meets families struggling to keep food on their tables at the Capital Area Food Bank. ","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/Nightline","id":"74312178","title":"Families fighting to feed children as coronavirus pandemic continues to impact jobs","url":"/Nightline/video/families-fighting-feed-children-coronavirus-pandemic-continues-impact-74312178"}