WAFOOD Brief 9 – Food Security and Access Amid Covid-19: A Comprehensive Look at the Second Survey of Washington State Households

Published July 2, 2021, this brief focuses on the experience of Washington State Households with food security, food assistance, food access, mental well-being, and economic assistance during the winter of the COVID-19 pandemic (December 2020/January 2021).

Initial Findings

A total of 3,511 Washington State residents responded to the WAFOOD 2 survey. Household 30-day food insecurity, defined as low (12%) and very low (15%) food security, remained high at 27%. Stark disparities in food insecurity were evident across sociodemographic factors while differences in food-at-home and food-away-from-home expenditures were observed by income. Use of food assistance rose from 29% before COVID-19 to 42% in December 2020/January 2021. Nearly half of all respondents reported that their diets worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic, and many were still hesitant to dine-in at restaurants.

Explore More: Find all briefs and publications related to this study on the project page.


Publication Date: July 2, 2021

Author(s): The WAFOOD survey was a joint effort between the UW and WSU with collaboration from Tacoma Community College (TCC). The team comprises Adam Drewnowski, Director, Center for Public Health Nutrition and Professor, Epidemiology at UWSPH; Jennifer J. Otten, Food Systems Director and Associate Professor, Nutritional Sciences and Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences (DEOHS) at UWSPH; Laura R. Lewis, Director, Food Systems Program and an Associate Professor, Community and Economic Development at WSU; Sarah M. Collier, Assistant Professor, Nutritional Sciences and DEOHS at UWSPH; Brinda Sivaramakrishnan, Professor, Community Health at TCC; Chelsea M. Rose, Research Coordinator, Epidemiology at UWSPH; Alan Ismach, Research Coordinator, Health Services at UWSPH; Esther Nguyen, Research Assistant at UWSPH; and James Buszkiewicz, Research Scientist, Epidemiology at UWSPH.

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