Early in the pandemic, Americans lined up for hours outside of food banks, awaiting their chance to collect groceries.

Many of them had experienced food insecurity before COVID-19. Tens of millions of others were new to such assistance. Only thanks to emergency federal intervention was a serious hunger crisis averted in 2020.

Unfortunately, even as the pandemic has eased by some measures, a range of factors is still preventing many Americans from finding enough to eat. Those stresses continue to fall on the nation’s food banks. As COVID-19 drags on, their mission is becoming harder and more expensive. To ensure that the lingering effects of the coronavirus don’t lead to sparse dinner tables this winter, Congress should step up for the charities that keep Americans fed.