We surveyed a cohort of Vermonters three times during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic to understand the impacts of the pandemic on food security and food access. The surveys were conducted in March/April 2020, June 2020, and March/April 2021. A total of 441 Vermonters responded to all three surveys. This brief shares changes in their experiences between March 2020 and March 2021. Key findings include: 1. Food insecurity rates increased during the pandemic and remained above pre-pandemic levels a year after the start of the pandemic. 2. 31.6% of respondents experienced food insecurity at some point in the first year of the pandemic. Of those, 46.9% were food insecure before the pandemic, but over half (53.1%) were newly food insecure. Of the respondents who experienced food insecurity at any point during the pandemic, 61.9% were still food insecure in March 2021. 3. People without a college degree, those with a job disruption, households with children, women, and younger people had greater odds of experiencing food insecurity in March 2021. 4. Fewer respondents were using federal food assistance programs and food pantries in March 2021 compared to earlier in the pandemic. 5. More than half of respondents (54.2%) reported suffering a job disruption (i.e. job loss, reduction in work hours or income, furlough) since March 2020 and 18.4% were still experiencing a job disruption in March 2021. 6. Vermonters today are less concerned about food becoming more expensive and possible loss of food assistance programs compared to earlier in the pandemic.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
McCarthy, Ashley C.; Bertmann, Farryl; Belarmino, Emily H.; and Niles, Meredith T., "Food Security Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Following a Group of Vermonters During the First Year" (2021). College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Faculty Publications. 186.