Our Work

WAFOOD: Examining the Impacts of COVID-19 and related factors on Food Systems, Food Security, and Food Access in Washington State

Washington State Food Security Survey

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted multiple components of the food system: food production and food supply chains were destabilized, consumer purchasing power was greatly reduced for many, and new challenges appeared across sectors that persist today. There remains a high need for public assistance programs and food from local food banks. Food systems are changing, perhaps forever, and the consequences for diets, health, and well-being of US households continue to need monitoring. Moreover, local, state, and federal measures to mitigate dietary and health consequences lack geo-located and granular data to aid in decision-making.

WAFOOD, an online survey, assesses recent changes experienced by households in food access pathways, the types of foods acquired, their nutritional value, and their price. WAFOOD  also assesses food insecurity and economic well-being, with an emphasis on lower-income households.

The study, now in its fourth iteration, provides insights to Washington State agencies and community organizations trying to respond to ongoing shifts in the food system and in food needs of Washington residents.


University of Washington Population Health Initiative

Project Team

Project Period

May 1, 2020 – present

Project Status


Project Contact

Jennifer Otten, jotten@uw.edu