Food Access and Insecurity During COVID-19

Recognizing the problem and taking action

By: Amit Sharma, Ph.D. & Kimberly Impellitteri

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our lives in ways beyond what we could have imagined. The disruption of essential elements of life, such as food, water, money, and housing, has been devastating to families and communities, particularly those most vulnerable. While some of the impact on the unavailability of food, for instance, has been due to the pandemic, the inequalities that preexisted the crisis have persisted. Consequently, not everyone has been impacted equally by the inaccessibility of food; yet those who never imagined they would be impacted have found themselves food insecure.

Our research team has been investigating the issues surrounding food access and insecurity locally and globally through our international research task force . The research team also includes an enthusiastic group of undergraduate and graduate students at Penn State, whose efforts have been nothing short of an inspiration. These efforts have morphed into research, outreach, and educational activities reflecting on the complex perspectives overlapping the food insecurity phenomenon. Understanding these perspectives can be critical to eventually address the food insecurity challenge that so many of our communities face around the globe, and in our own neighborhoods.

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