This brief details the results from three separate surveys of Northern New Englanders in Maine and Vermont in summer 2020, spring 2021, and spring 2022. A survey was conducted in summer of 2020 to understand the initial and continued impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on food security, diet, and health outcomes. Two additional surveys were conducted using the same methods in spring 2021 and 2022 to continue to assess changes during the pandemic. All surveys were representative of the state populations on race and ethnicity and the data presented in this brief were weighted to be representative of income in both states. Collectively, the surveys represent more than 3,000 individuals. Key results include:1. Home Food Production (HFP) is common and has continued to increase among respondents since the beginning of the pandemic. Among respondents, 32% participated in HFP in 2020, 59% in 2021, and 65% in 2022. 2. The most common HFP activities in 2022 were gardening (48%) and food preservation (34%). 3. Food insecurity has been variable across years: 40% of households were food insecure in 2020, 31% of households were food insecure in 2021, and 39% of respondents were food insecure in 2022. 4. Food insecure households were more likely to participate in HFP (especially fishing, foraging, hunting, and raising animals for meat, dairy or eggs) compared to food secure households across all three surveys. 5. Pests (63%), weather (60%), and money for equipment or supplies (58%) were the biggest barriers for people participating in any HFP.
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Angle, Ashleigh; McCarthy, Ashley C.; and Niles, Meredith T., "Home Food Production Before, During and Since Start of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Northern New England" (2023). College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Faculty Publications. 201.