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1.
International Journal of Mechanical Sciences ; 238, 2023.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-2179592

ABSTRACT

This research examines on a new class of MEMS inertia mass sensors that are simple, sensitive, and selective in possibly detecting tiny objects. The sensor consists of two beams attached by an end-plate and is mounted on an electrostatically actuated shallow micro-arch. The presence of the end-plate overcomes the shortcoming of building inertia mass sensors using in-plane beam resonators. It gives more room to deposit detector material and, therefore, controls and mobilizes the quantity of the detector toward sensing a target. The design exploits the bistable behavior, resulting from the combination of the snap-through instability and the nonlinear force to move from one stable equilibrium to another. The transition can be controlled statically or dynamically depending on an operational modes. The eigenvalue problem assessment shows a considerable reduction in the first and third symmetrical resonant frequencies under DC voltage when a few picograms of the object substance are introduced. It is also corroborating that placing the added mass at the center of the end-plate and operating the sensor at vibration mode shape that dominated by the platform are more effective for mass detection through measuring the change in its frequency and bifurcation points. We found that superimposing the excitation signal to a small AC harmonic load, linear dynamic responses show a shift in the neighborhood of the first resonant frequency. On the other hand, increasing the actuation signal, dynamic responses show nonlinear trends offering possibilities to use the proposed design as a bifurcation-based type inertia sensor. This added mass leads to significant shifts at the locations of the bifurcation points compared to those in the absence of the object.

2.
Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management ; 12(4):532-553, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-2136008

ABSTRACT

Purpose>The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of food access and other vulnerability measures on the COVID-19 progression to inform the public health decision-makers while setting priority rules for vaccine schedules.Design/methodology/approach>In this paper, the authors used the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) data combined with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s social vulnerability score variables and diabetes and obesity prevalence in a set of models to assess the associations with the COVID-19 prevalence and case-fatality rates in the United States (US) counties. Using the case prevalence estimates provided by these models, the authors developed a COVID-19 vulnerability score. The COVID-19 vulnerability score prioritization is then compared with the pro-rata approach commonly used for vaccine distribution.Findings>The study found that the population proportion residing in a food desert is positively correlated with the COVID-19 prevalence. Similarly, the population proportion registered to SNAP is positively correlated with the COVID-19 prevalence. The findings demonstrate that commonly used pro-rata vaccine allocation can overlook vulnerable communities, which can eventually create disease hot-spots.Practical implications>The proposed methodology provides a rapid and effective vaccine prioritization scoring. However, this scoring can also be considered for other humanitarian programs such as food aid and rapid test distribution in response to the current and future pandemics.Originality/value>Humanitarian logistics domain predominantly relies on equity measures, where each jurisdiction receives resources proportional to their population. This study provides a tool to rapidly identify and prioritize vulnerable communities while determining vaccination schedules.

3.
Nutrients ; 14(21)2022 Oct 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2090295

ABSTRACT

This study aims to describe reasons for discontinuing participation and experiences participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) during the COVID-19 pandemic. We analyzed data from a cross-sectional online survey distributed to a national sample, restricted to (1) households that discontinued participating in SNAP (n = 146) or WIC (n = 149) during the pandemic and (2) households that participated in SNAP (n = 501) or WIC (n = 141) during spring 2021-approximately one year into the pandemic. We conducted thematic analyses of open-ended survey questions and descriptive statistics for Likert-scale items. Themes raised by respondents who discontinued participating in SNAP or WIC included difficulty recertifying and virus exposure concerns. Former WIC participants reported the program was not worth the effort and former SNAP participants reported failing to requalify. Respondents participating in WIC or SNAP during the pandemic mentioned transportation barriers and insufficient benefit value. WIC participants had trouble redeeming benefits in stores and SNAP participants desired improved online grocery purchasing experiences. These results suggest that enhancements to WIC and SNAP, such as expanded online purchasing options, program flexibilities, and benefit increases, can improve program participation to ensure access to critical nutrition supports, especially during emergencies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Food Assistance , Child , Infant , Humans , Female , Pandemics , Food Supply , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Poverty
4.
JMIR Form Res ; 6(10): e41418, 2022 Oct 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2084732

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Food insecurity is a complex public health problem affecting many individuals in the United States. Digital health interventions that promote behavior change and provide access to affordable and healthy food may help to alleviate food insecurity. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to characterize food-insecure users of Foodsmart, a telehealth and nutrition platform with meal planning, food ordering, nutrition education, budgeting, and grocery discount features, and to evaluate changes in diet and food insecurity. METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed data collected from 4595 adults who used the Foodsmart platform between February and October 2021. Participants self-reported their diet, demographics, biometrics, and food insecurity status in a 56-item questionnaire. Participants were reported to be food insecure if they answered "sometimes" or "often" to the question "How often does the food you buy not last and you don't have money to get more?" from the United States Department of Agriculture's Household Food Security survey. We examined baseline characteristics of participants by food insecurity status, associations between characteristics and baseline food insecurity, and changes in diet quality and food insecurity status. To evaluate potential causes of reversing food insecurity, the use of 6 Foodsmart features was compared between food-insecure participants who achieved food security versus food-insecure participants who remained food insecure, based on their last response to the food insecurity question. RESULTS: We found that 16% (742/4595) of participants were food insecure at baseline. Participants who were food insecure at baseline were more likely to be obese, to have at least one chronic condition, to have a lower diet quality, to cook less frequently at home, to think healthy food is too expensive, and less likely to order takeout or eat at a restaurant. Among participants who were food insecure at baseline, 61% (451/742) improved their nutrition and 29% (217/742) responded that they were food secure at follow-up, with an increasing percentage achieving food security with longer enrollment time. Using a multivariable logistic regression model, we found that age, diabetes, prediabetes, BMI categories, and diet quality at baseline were statistically significantly associated with the likelihood of being food insecure at baseline. Among those who were food insecure at baseline, there was a higher relative proportion of participants who achieved food security and used the "deals" (28.6% higher), "CookItNow" (36.4% higher), and "telenutrition" (27.5% higher) features compared to those who remained food insecure. CONCLUSIONS: This study assesses the characteristics of individuals enrolled on the Foodsmart platform who answered the food insecurity question. We found that a significant number of participants who were food insecure at enrollment achieved food security. This finding shows that telehealth and nutrition platforms may potentially help users improve household food security.

5.
Int Tax Public Financ ; 29(6): 1373-1394, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2059945

ABSTRACT

In the U.S., means-tested cash, in-kind assistance, and social insurance are part of a patchwork safety net, often run with substantial involvement of state and local governments. Take-up-participation among eligible persons in this system is incomplete. A large literature points to both neo-classical and behavioral science explanations for low take-up. In this paper, we explore the response of the safety net to COVID-19 using newly-collected survey data from one U.S. state-Utah. The rich Utah data ask about income and demographics as well as use of three social safety net programs which collectively provided a large share of relief spending: the Unemployment Insurance program, a social insurance program providing workers who lose their jobs with payments; the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which provides benefit cards for purchasing unprepared food at retailers; and Economic Impact Payments, which provided relatively universal relief payments to individuals. The data do not suffice to determine eligibility for all of the programs, so we focus on participation per capita. These data also collect information on several measures of hardship and why individuals did not receive any of the 3 programs. We test for explanations that differentiate need, lack of information, transaction costs/administrative burden, stigma, and lack of eligibility. We use measures of hardship to assess targeting. We find that lack of knowledge as well as difficulty applying, and stigma in the UI program each play a role as reasons for not participating in the programs.

6.
Nutrients ; 14(18)2022 Sep 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2033076

ABSTRACT

Online grocery shopping has expanded rapidly in the U.S., yet little is known about the retailer's perceptions of online grocery services, which can aid in the expansion of services. Furthermore, many barriers to online grocery utilization persist across geographic areas, especially among Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)-authorized retailers. This study captured perceived barriers and facilitators of online grocery shopping for managers of SNAP-authorized retailers. Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with managers (n = 23) of grocery stores/supermarkets in urban and rural areas across four different states: TN, KY, NC, and NY. Grocery store managers offering online ordering (n = 15) and managers from brick-and-mortar stores without online services (n = 8) participated in the interviews. Three primary themes emerged among managers offering online ordering: (1) order fulfillment challenges, (2) perceived customer barriers, and (3) perceived customer benefits. Among managers at brick-and-mortar locations without online services, four major themes emerged: (1) thoughts on implementing online shopping, (2) COVID-19 pandemic impacts, (3) competition with other stores, and (4) benefits of maintaining brick-and-mortar shopping. This study provides a deeper understanding of retailers' experience and perceptions of online grocery services among stores authorized to accept SNAP benefits. This perspective is necessary to inform policies and enhance the evolving virtual food marketplace for SNAP customers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Food Assistance , Commerce , Food Supply , Humans , Pandemics , Supermarkets
7.
Public Health Rep ; 137(6): 1187-1197, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2002023

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Financial hardships, job losses, and social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic have increased food insecurity. We examined associations between food insecurity-related interventions and mental health among US adults aged ≥18 years from April 2020 through August 2021. METHODS: We pooled data from the Household Pulse Survey from April 2020 through August 2021 (N = 2 253 567 adults). To estimate associations between mental health and food insecurity, we examined the following interventions: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Economic Impact Payments (stimulus funds), unemployment insurance, and free meals. We calculated psychological distress index (PDI) scores (Cronbach α = 0.91) through principal components analysis using 4 mental health variables: depression, anxiety, worry, and lack of interest (with a standardized mean score [SD] = 100 [20]). We conducted multivariable linear regression to estimate the interactive effects of the intervention and food insecurity on psychological distress, controlling for sociodemographic characteristics. RESULTS: During the study period, adults with food insecurity had higher mean PDI scores than adults without food insecurity. Food insecurity was associated with increased PDI scores after controlling for sociodemographic characteristics. In stratified models, negative associations between food insecurity and mental health (as shown by reductions in PDI scores) were mitigated by SNAP (-4.5), stimulus fund (-4.1), unemployment insurance (-4.4), and free meal (-4.4) interventions. The mitigation effects of interventions on PDI were greater for non-Hispanic White adults than for non-Hispanic Black or Asian adults. CONCLUSIONS: Future research on food insecurity and mental health should include investigations on programs and policies that could be of most benefit to racial and ethnic minority groups.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Food Assistance , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Ethnicity , Food Insecurity , Food Supply , Humans , Mental Health , Minority Groups , Pandemics , Poverty
8.
J Nutr Sci ; 11: e64, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1972473

ABSTRACT

Marketing influences consumers' dietary purchases. However, little is known about marketing environments in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)-authorised stores. The present study explored SNAP-authorised store marketing environments in Louisiana by rurality, store ownership and store type (n 42). Sampling methods were designed to include randomly selected stores in each geographic area of the state. The GroPromo was used to measure placement, promotion, and child-focused aspects of marketing strategies used for healthier (fruits and vegetables) and less healthy products (chips, candy, sugar-sweetened beverages, child-focused cereal) in medium- and high-prominence marketing areas. In using multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) (P < 0⋅05) for data analysis, variations in GroPromo scores were found among SNAP-authorised stores by rurality (P < 0⋅05) and store ownership (P < 0⋅001); no differences were found by store type (P > 0⋅05). Future research, practice and policy strategies are required to understand the influence of marketing environments on SNAP participants' dietary quality and to design responsive public health interventions.


Subject(s)
Food Assistance , Beverages , Commerce , Food Supply , Humans , Marketing , Poverty
9.
Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management ; : 22, 2022.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1915919

ABSTRACT

Purpose The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of food access and other vulnerability measures on the COVID-19 progression to inform the public health decision-makers while setting priority rules for vaccine schedules. Design/methodology/approach In this paper, the authors used the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) data combined with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s social vulnerability score variables and diabetes and obesity prevalence in a set of models to assess the associations with the COVID-19 prevalence and case-fatality rates in the United States (US) counties. Using the case prevalence estimates provided by these models, the authors developed a COVID-19 vulnerability score. The COVID-19 vulnerability score prioritization is then compared with the pro-rata approach commonly used for vaccine distribution. Findings The study found that the population proportion residing in a food desert is positively correlated with the COVID-19 prevalence. Similarly, the population proportion registered to SNAP is positively correlated with the COVID-19 prevalence. The findings demonstrate that commonly used pro-rata vaccine allocation can overlook vulnerable communities, which can eventually create disease hot-spots. Practical implications The proposed methodology provides a rapid and effective vaccine prioritization scoring. However, this scoring can also be considered for other humanitarian programs such as food aid and rapid test distribution in response to the current and future pandemics. Originality/value Humanitarian logistics domain predominantly relies on equity measures, where each jurisdiction receives resources proportional to their population. This study provides a tool to rapidly identify and prioritize vulnerable communities while determining vaccination schedules.

10.
Prev Med Rep ; 28: 101871, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1907669

ABSTRACT

This paper examines risk factors influencing food insecurity during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic in a state in the U.S. heavily impacted by it and offers recommendations for multi-sector intervention. The U.S. Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey was analyzed to evaluate the impacts of COVID-19 on food security in Massachusetts from April 2020 through March 2021 using a study sample of 57,678 participants. Food security was defined as a categorical variable (food security, marginal food security, low food security, very low food security) and binary variable (food security and food insecurity). Known or suspected factors that contribute to it, such as childcare, education, employment, housing, and transportation were examined in multivariate logistic regression models. Data imputation methods accounted for missing data. Sociodemographic characteristics, including lower education level and living in a household with children, were determinants of food insecurity. Another factor that influenced food insecurity was economic hardships, such as unemployment, being laid off due to COVID-19, not working due to concerns about contracting or spreading COVID-19, or not having enough money to buy food. A third factor influencing food insecurity was food environment, such as lack of geographic access to healthy foods. Some of these factors have been exacerbated by the pandemic and will continue to impact food security. These should be addressed through a comprehensive approach with public health efforts considering all levels of the social ecological model and the context created by the pandemic.

11.
International Journal of Development Issues ; 21(2):292-308, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1878895

ABSTRACT

Purpose>The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many households to experience income shocks because of the unprecedented job loss, resulting in the demand for public and private food assistance programs and a surge in unemployment insurance filing in the USA. This study aims to investigate the association between social safety programs (e.g. supplementary nutritional assistance programs (SNAP), unemployment insurance and charitable food assistance) and household food sufficiency during the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.Design/methodology/approach>The authors used the Household Pulse Surveys (HPS) conducted by the US Census Bureau from August 2020 to March 2021. And, the authors used an ordered probit model for the empirical analysis because the indicator of food sufficiency constructed from the HPS is an ordinal variable with four categories. The indicator identifies four groups of households: severe food insufficiency, moderate food insufficiency, mild food sufficiency and food sufficiency.Findings>The results show that food sufficiency is significantly higher among the SNAP, unemployment insurance and charitable food assistance recipients than non-recipients. Furthermore, the results indicate that food sufficiency is significantly lower among black, Asian, Hispanic and other races than white households. Concerning the intersectional effect of social safety net programs and race/ethnicity on household food sufficiency, the authors find that the household food sufficiency is significantly higher among white, black and Asian households who benefited from SNAP, compared with non-beneficiary households. On the other hand, the authors find no evidence that participation in SNAP increases food sufficiency significantly among Hispanics and other races. In addition, the likelihood of food sufficiency increases significantly among white, black, Asian, Hispanic and other races that received unemployment insurance and charitable food assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic compared with those who did not benefit from the programs.Practical implications>These results underscore the critical role collective America’s social safety net programs played in increasing food sufficiency among Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, the results suggest that families' basic needs (food sufficiency) would have been at risk if these safety net programs were not available to households during the pandemic. This, therefore, highlights the important role that government- and non-government-supported food emergency assistance programs can play in preventing people from facing food insufficiency problems in a tough time or during a crisis in the USA.Originality/value>This study highlights the dynamic relationship between Americans’ social safety net programs and household food sufficiency during the COVID-19 pandemic.

12.
Autophagy ; : 1-19, 2022 Jun 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1878703

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is closely related to various cellular aspects associated with autophagy. However, how SARS-CoV-2 mediates the subversion of the macroautophagy/autophagy pathway remains largely unclear. In this study, we demonstrate that overexpression of the SARS-CoV-2 ORF7a protein activates LC3-II and leads to the accumulation of autophagosomes in multiple cell lines, while knockdown of the viral ORF7a gene via shRNAs targeting ORF7a sgRNA during SARS-CoV-2 infection decreased autophagy levels. Mechanistically, the ORF7a protein initiates autophagy via the AKT-MTOR-ULK1-mediated pathway, but ORF7a limits the progression of autophagic flux by activating CASP3 (caspase 3) to cleave the SNAP29 protein at aspartic acid residue 30 (D30), ultimately impairing complete autophagy. Importantly, SARS-CoV-2 infection-induced accumulated autophagosomes promote progeny virus production, whereby ORF7a downregulates SNAP29, ultimately resulting in failure of autophagosome fusion with lysosomes to promote viral replication. Taken together, our study reveals a mechanism by which SARS-CoV-2 utilizes the autophagic machinery to facilitate its own propagation via ORF7a.

13.
Health Place ; 76: 102811, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1851142

ABSTRACT

During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Online Purchasing Pilot (OPP) was rapidly expanded across the US. This program, enabling direct-to-home grocery delivery, could be a transformative step towards improving fresh-food access. However, lack of information on which areas are serviced by SNAP OPP hinders the identification of potential demographic and regional disparities in access. Lessons from the initial implementation period are critical for understanding continuing inequities and informing the implementation of future programs. In California, SNAP OPP expanded food access for 85.9% of the state's SNAP households in 2020-21. Coverage was significantly greater in urban areas, covering 87.2% of CalFresh households in urban limited food access areas as compared with 29.9% of CalFresh households in rural limited food access areas. County-level COVID-19 rates did not have a meaningful association with SNAP OPP coverage.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Food Assistance , COVID-19/epidemiology , Family Characteristics , Food Supply , Humans , Pandemics , Poverty
14.
Am J Clin Nutr ; 116(1): 197-205, 2022 07 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1815986

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Ultra-processed foods contribute to risks of obesity and cardiometabolic disease, and higher intakes have been observed in low-income populations in the United States. Consumption of ultra-processed foods may be particularly higher among individuals experiencing food insecurity and participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). OBJECTIVES: Using data from the 2007-2016 NHANES, we examined the associations between food insecurity, SNAP participation, and ultra-processed food consumption. METHODS: The study population comprised 9190 adults, aged 20-65 y, with incomes ≤300% of the federal poverty level (FPL). Food insecurity was assessed using the Household Food Security Survey Module and SNAP participation over the past 12 mo was self-reported. Dietary intake was measured from two 24-h dietary recalls. Ultra-processed food consumption (percentage of total energy intake) was defined using the NOVA food classification system. Linear regression models were used to examine the associations between food insecurity, SNAP participation, and ultra-processed food consumption, adjusting for sociodemographic and health characteristics. RESULTS: More severe food insecurity was associated with higher intakes of ultra-processed foods (P-trend = 0.003). The adjusted means of ultra-processed food intake ranged from 52.6% for adults with high food security to 55.7% for adults with very low food security. SNAP participation was also associated with higher intakes of ultra-processed foods (adjusted mean: 54.7%), compared with income-eligible participants (adjusted mean: 53.0%). Furthermore, the association between food insecurity and ultra-processed foods was modified by SNAP participation (P-interaction = 0.02). Among income-eligible nonparticipants and income-ineligible nonparticipants, more severe food insecurity was associated with higher consumption of ultra-processed foods. Among SNAP participants, the association between food insecurity and consumption of ultra-processed foods was nonsignificant. CONCLUSION: In a nationally representative sample of adults, food insecurity and SNAP participation were both associated with higher levels of ultra-processed food consumption.


Subject(s)
Food Assistance , Adult , Fast Foods , Food Insecurity , Food Supply , Humans , Nutrition Surveys , United States
15.
Contemp Clin Trials ; 117: 106771, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1803647

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Childhood obesity prevention efforts are needed in the United States, especially for families with low income. The purpose of this study is to determine whether HomeStyles-2, a nutrition education and childhood obesity prevention program for families with children in middle childhood (ages 6 to 11 years), motivates parents to re-shape their home environments and weight-related lifestyle practices to be more supportive of meeting national nutrition and physical activity recommendations and weight status of their children more so than those in the control condition. METHODS: A research-practice partnership with Florida's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed) program was formed to conduct a cluster randomized trial to evaluate the HomeStyles-2 intervention. SNAP-Ed-eligible individuals who are parents/caregivers of children aged 6-11 living in the study catchment area will be invited to enroll in the study and participate in a six-lesson series using the HomeStyles-2 program or an attention control program. The primary outcome measures related to parent weight-related behaviors will be assessed on the individual level. Linear mixed models with a hierarchical design will be used to assess outcomes of interest. DISCUSSION: This study has the potential to demonstrate the effectiveness of a new curriculum implemented in a federal nutrition education program. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, adjustments were made to the intervention design to allow for virtual delivery of the intervention through SNAP-Ed. This unanticipated change will offer much-needed research on the effectiveness of virtual nutrition education, which may help to expand SNAP-Ed's reach across the country. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT05019339.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Food Assistance , Pediatric Obesity , Child , Health Education , Humans , Pandemics , Pediatric Obesity/prevention & control , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , United States
16.
Nutrients ; 14(8)2022 Apr 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1785848

ABSTRACT

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in record-high unemployment rates. Black and Latino adults experienced disproportionately higher rates of unemployment. We aimed to examine associations between pandemic-related employment status change and household food insecurity among an economically diverse sample of Black and Latino adults in Illinois during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, we evaluated the significance of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participation to determine if it modified associations. We analyzed cross-sectional data collected from 1,809 Black and Latino adults in two waves: May 2020 and June/July 2020. Participants listed their change in employment status as "lost job entirely", "employed, but paid hours reduced", "employed, but anticipate job lost", or "no change". Participants self-reported their SNAP status and completed the USDA's six item U.S. Food Security Module to report household food security status. We used logistic regression to assess the significance of associations after controlling for socio-demographics. Approximately 15.5% of participants lost their job entirely, 25.2% were SNAP participants, and 51.8% reported low food security (LFS). All changes in employment were significantly associated with increased odds of LFS after adjusting for socio-demographics. SNAP participants who lost their job had higher odds of LFS (OR: 4.69; 95% CI: 2.69-8.17) compared to non-participants who lost their job (OR: 2.97; 95%: 1.95-4.52). In summary, we observed strong associations between changes in employment and household food insecurity, particularly among SNAP participants, which underscores the pandemic's impact on low-income and minority populations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Food Assistance , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Employment , Food Insecurity , Food Supply , Hispanic or Latino , Humans , Pandemics
17.
Lancet Reg Health Am ; 10: 100224, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1729978

ABSTRACT

Background: COVID-19 has directly affected millions of people. Others have been indirectly affected; for example, there has been a startling increase in hunger brought about by the pandemic. Many countries have sought to relieve this problem through public policy. This research examines the effectiveness of enhanced Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in the U.S. to alleviate hunger. Methods: Using a biweekly cross-sectional survey and corresponding population weights from the U.S. Census Bureau, we estimate the effects of enhanced SNAP benefits on hunger in the U.S. as measured by food insufficiency. We use a Bayesian structural time series analysis to predict counterfactual values of food insufficiency. We supplement these findings by examining the effect of enhanced SNAP benefits on observed visits to a food pantry network in a midsized U.S. city. Findings: Our primary finding estimates that nationwide a total 850,000 (95% credible interval 0·24-1·46 million) instances of food insufficiency were prevented per week by the 15 percent increase in SNAP benefits enacted in January 2021. Secondarily, we find similar effects associated with SNAP benefit increases and local food pantry visits. Specifically, enhanced SNAP benefits resulted in fewer visits to the food pantry network than were predicted in the counterfactual model. Interpretation: These results not only indicate that the policies enacted to mitigate hunger caused by the COVID-19 pandemic helped, but also quantifies how much these benefits helped on a national scale. As a result, policymakers can use this data to benchmark future policy actions at scale. Funding: None.

18.
Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy ; : 18, 2022.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1680240

ABSTRACT

Using administrative data from Georgia covering January 2018-August 2020, we estimated the effect of services provided through the Older Americans Act (OAA) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on food insecurity among older Georgians. Our sample included those who received services prior to and during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. For the entire sample period, we found home-delivered meals and other OAA services reduced food insecurity by 3% and 4%, respectively. During COVID-19, the effect of SNAP on reducing food insecurity significantly increased from 2.1% to 4.7%, while the loss of "traditional" congregate meals services increased food insecurity by 7%.

19.
SSM Popul Health ; 17: 100952, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616773

ABSTRACT

The U.S government has historically responded to human, natural and economic disruptions that threaten food insecurity by modifying federally-funded public food programs. The authors conducted a scoping review to identify and summarize available evidence on the efforts of a 20-year period to modify food benefit programs in response to emergencies; describe how food benefit programs interact to support vulnerable populations; identify key facilitators and barriers to effective implementation and impact; and assess relevance of evidence to COVID-19 pandemic. Scoping reviews address broad research questions aimed at mapping key concepts and available evidence in a defined area, and include academic and gray literature and reports from governments and NGOs. This review followed the PRISMA Extension for Scoping Reviews and included a three-stage search strategy. Studies were independently screened for eligibility by two researchers with multiple rounds of review. A content based charting method was used to summarize evidence. More than 2289 documents were identified and screened. After review, 44 documents were analyzed. Only 18% of documents reported program or policy impact data. Additionally, review of 149 policy records from State by State FNS Disaster Assistance Data from Oct 2016-Dec 2020 assessed 96 state specific food policy responses to 72 distinct events. Analysis revealed 53 distinct packages of food policy modifications used in response to crises. This scoping review demonstrates that few studies document the impact on food insecurity of food benefit modifications in response to crises. Most documents present output level details about costs and total number of individuals served. Many documents describe food policy response to crises without providing evaluation of response. Analysis points to SNAP and Child Nutrition Programs as most commonly modified food benefit programs in the wake of U.S. crises. The review concludes with a number of considerations for continued response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

20.
Public Health Nurs ; 39(3): 673-676, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1566321

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic had forced schools and school-based partnerships in the US to re-imagine extracurricular activities while schools were closed for in-person learning. We highlight lessons learned from implementing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Education Program (SNAP-Ed) virtually, a nutrition education program to improve nutrition literacy and skills among children, in a Maryland School of Nursing/K-8 Partnership school amid in-person school closures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Food Assistance , Child , Health Education , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Schools
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