As a result of the current Coronavirus pandemic, there has been massive lay-offs of casino staff in Las Vegas has left thousands in desperate need of support, and more food banks have opened up to help with this problem.
Las Vegas casinos are being converted into food banks for the unemployed workers, some of whom will have worked at those same casinos in the months before the pandemic.
According to the Nevada Public radio station, the numbers don’t look good at all. Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, there was one food bank in Las Vegas, which distributed about £1 million of food to those in need.
This number has reached £1.3 million in the months since the declaration of a national emergency by President Donald Trump in early March. According to the food bank’s COO Larry Scott, the queue for the food bank can reach up to six miles long. ‘If you were to just drive past that line, you would absolutely see that the cars are representative of a lot of different economic classes,” Scott told Nevada Public Radio.
How they are coping with demand?
Thankfully the food banks are able to cope with the surge in demand. This increase in Las Vegas has been in line with the nationwide reports that are saying there has been a 40% increase in demand for food support services in America.
The food banks are able to cope with this demand due to the large donations from federal commodities like Walmart (who own Asda) and Kraft (who have merged with Heinz). The MGM resort in Vegas also donated a large quantity of food that was prepared for the banquets that are held at the casino.
Many experts think Nevada will be one of the hardest hit US states economically due to the outbreak, as it has brought tourism to a halt and will be some time before they see a similar number of people frequenting its establishments as previous years.
In an article in the New York Times, journalist Brittany Bronson said: “Like many other states, Nevada closed all nonessential businesses to stem the spread of the coronavirus. But here in Vegas, the majority of our economy is nonessential. Our economic well-being lives and dies by the booming and busting of a single, extremely fragile industry. This month last year, tourists visited here. A complete halt to the beating heart of our economy is devastating.”