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Article

Food Security Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Longitudinal Evidence from a Cohort of Adults in Vermont during the First Year

1
Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, University of Vermont, 109 Carrigan Drive, Burlington, VT 05405, USA
2
Food Systems Program, University of Vermont, 109 Carrigan Drive, Burlington, VT 05405, USA
3
Gund Institute for Environment, University of Vermont, 210 Colchester Ave., Burlington, VT 05405, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Alexandra E. van den Berg and Kathryn M. Janda
Nutrients 2022, 14(7), 1358; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14071358
Received: 11 February 2022 / Revised: 12 March 2022 / Accepted: 16 March 2022 / Published: 24 March 2022
This study assessed changes in household food insecurity throughout the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic in a cohort of adults in the state of Vermont, USA, and examined the socio-demographic characteristics associated with increased odds of experiencing food insecurity during the pandemic. We conducted three online surveys between March 2020 and March 2021 to collect longitudinal data on food security, use of food assistance programs, and job disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Food security was measured using the USDA six-item module. Among the 441 respondents, food insecurity rates increased significantly during the pandemic and remained above pre-pandemic levels a year after the start of the pandemic. Nearly a third (31.6%) of respondents experienced food insecurity at some point during the first year of the pandemic, with 53.1% of food-insecure households being classified as newly food-insecure. The odds of experiencing food insecurity during the pandemic varied based on socio-demographic factors. Households with children (OR 5.5, 95% CI 1.782–16.936, p < 0.01), women (OR 8.1, 95% CI 1.777–36.647, p < 0.05), BIPOC/Hispanic respondents (OR 11.8, 95% CI 1.615–85.805, p < 0.05), and households experiencing a job disruption (OR 5.0, 95% CI 1.583–16.005, p <0.01) had significantly higher odds of experiencing food insecurity during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, while respondents with a college degree (OR 0.08; 95% CI 0.025–0.246; p < 0.001) and household income of ≥USD 50,000 (OR 0.01; 95% CI 0.003–0.038; p < 0.001) had lower odds of experiencing food insecurity. These findings indicate that food insecurity continued to be a significant challenge one year after the start of the pandemic, which is important, given the adverse health impacts associated with food insecurity and health disparities among certain socio-demographic groups. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; food security; employment; food assistance; malnutrition COVID-19; food security; employment; food assistance; malnutrition
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MDPI and ACS Style

McCarthy, A.C.; Belarmino, E.H.; Bertmann, F.; Niles, M.T. Food Security Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Longitudinal Evidence from a Cohort of Adults in Vermont during the First Year. Nutrients 2022, 14, 1358. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14071358

AMA Style

McCarthy AC, Belarmino EH, Bertmann F, Niles MT. Food Security Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Longitudinal Evidence from a Cohort of Adults in Vermont during the First Year. Nutrients. 2022; 14(7):1358. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14071358

Chicago/Turabian Style

McCarthy, Ashley C., Emily H. Belarmino, Farryl Bertmann, and Meredith T. Niles. 2022. "Food Security Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Longitudinal Evidence from a Cohort of Adults in Vermont during the First Year" Nutrients 14, no. 7: 1358. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14071358

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