Publication date: Jul 06, 2023
The COVID-19 pandemic increased the need for food assistance due to surging unemployment, the closure of in-person schooling, and other factors. This posed a historic challenge to organizations that address food insecurity: meeting the surging need for food while minimizing COVID-19 transmission. This study aimed to identify how food insecurity program operations changed during the pandemic and to examine the facilitators/successes and barriers/challenges to operations. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with staff at 13 organizations involved in addressing food insecurity in Detroit during the pandemic. Interviews were coded by two coders, summarized, and then used to create matrices and concept map displays for each organization. We found that nearly all programs changed to a contactless food distribution format, and most programs experienced an increase in demand for food. Common successes/facilitators included keeping clients and staff safe from COVID-19 and waivers that eased program rules. Common challenges/barriers included the increased need for labor and food. Lack of funding was a barrier for some organizations, and others that experienced an increase in funding reported that it facilitated their work. This research identified the needs of programs addressing food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic, which can inform future disaster planning.
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|disease||MESH||multiple chronic conditions|