The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on food insecurity in northern New England primary and prenatal care settings
J Prim Care Community Health
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVE: Food insecurity (FI) is associated with adverse health outcomes across the lifespan. Primary care and prenatal practices can identify and address FI among patients through screening and interventions. It is unclear how practices and communities responded to FI during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how the pandemic may have impacted practices' FI strategies. We aimed to understand how practices providing primary care or prenatal care in northern New England experienced changes in FI during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We conducted a web-based survey of clinicians and staff from 43 unique practices providing primary care or prenatal care in northern New England. RESULTS: Most practices (59.5%) reported at least 1 new food program in the practice or community since the pandemic began. Practices reporting new practice- or community-based food programs were more likely to be rural, federally qualified health centers, and have greater confidence in practice and community capacity to address FI (chi-square tests, P < .05). CONCLUSION: Results suggest that practices and surrounding communities in northern New England responded to FI during the pandemic by increasing food support programs. Future work is needed to examine the impact of food programs initiated during the pandemic and determine optimal strategies for practices to address FI among patients.
Hatchell KE, Canavan CR, D'Cruze T, et al. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on food insecurity in northern New England primary and prenatal care settings. J Prim Care Community Health. 2022 Jan-Dec;13:21501319221106626. DOI:10.1177/21501319221106626. PMID: 35712859