Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-2020

Abstract

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected people worldwide, disrupting food access and security. To understand how food systems and security are impacted during this pandemic, an online survey was launched in Vermont from March 29th - April 12th, 2020 (less than a week after the Governor’s Stay Home/Stay Safe order). A total of 3,219 Vermonters responded, and nearly half provided written remarks in response to open-ended questions about worries or general comments. This brief summarizes survey findings and respondent comments about food retail and restaurants. We use quantitative data to understand the frequency of beliefs and behaviors, and qualitative data to understand respondents’ experiences and perspectives in their own words. Of note, the findings reflect early responses to and concerns with food-related risk; as more information was provided by experts, these fears may have been allayed. This will be investigated in future iterations of the survey. Key findings include: Key Findings Security of the Food Supply The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected people worldwide, disrupting food access and security. To understand how food systems and security are impacted during this pandemic, an online survey was launched in Vermont from March 29th - April 12th, 2020 (less than a week after the Governor’s Stay Home/Stay Safe order). A total of 3,219 Vermonters responded, and nearly half provided written remarks in response to open-ended questions about worries or general comments. This brief summarizes survey findings and respondent comments about food retail and restaurants. We use quantitative data to understand the frequency of beliefs and behaviors, and qualitative data 1. Respondents worried about the risk of contracting COVID-19 through the food system and emphasized the importance of protecting worker health. 2. 87% of respondents usually or always reduced grocery trips in the early weeks of the pandemic in order to avoid exposure. 3. There was high demand for stores to support social distancing and reduce opportunities for disease transmission, as well as provide guidance around safe food acquisition. 4. Poor access to food delivery was a challenge, especially among those in rural areas and using public benefits to buy food. 5. Respondents were interested in supporting local restaurants, but were concerned about safety. 6. 88% of respondents felt that more trust in stores would be helpful and 65% reported that more trust in food delivery would be helpful.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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