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The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted food availability and affordability and changed the daily food practices of New Yorkers. Eleven surveys of samples of 1,000 New York City adults from March 13 through June 28 illustrate three effects on food access and food insecurity: (1) closing restaurants, schools, and other sources of prepared foods reduced access and changed shopping patterns, food expenditures, and diets; (2) economic disruption exacerbated food insecurity and increased demand for food assistance; and (3) altered food practices affected diets and health. These impacts were disproportionately borne by vulnerable populations. This paper reports survey responses illustrating the effects of the pandemic and its aftermath on food access, food insecurity, nutrition, and food practices, and how these effects differed for specific populations. The results suggest opportunities to increase food system resilience by developing and expanding programs and policies tackling social determinants of food insecurity and malnourishment.


Acknowledgements: This research was supported by the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. We acknowledge the contributions of CUNY School of Public Health faculty Ayman El-Mohandes, MPH, MD, MSc, MBBCh; Bruce Y. Lee, MBA, MD; Denis Nash, PhD, MPH;Chris Palmedo, PhD, MBA, MA; Ashish Joshi, PhD, MPH, MBBS; Nicholas Freudenberg, DrPH, MPH; and Vicky Ngo, PhD, MS; and Scott C. Ratzan, MD, MPA; as well as Spencer Kimball, MA, MS, JD at Emerson College, Lauren Rauh; and Kenneth Rabin, PhD from Journal of Health Communication.



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