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AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. – A study is currently underway to assess the effects that COVID-19 is having on food insecurity in Alabama. Researchers from the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Auburn University and Auburn University at Montgomery are launching an online survey to collect data on food security and food access.

Alabama Extension specialist, Katie Funderburk, said food buying and food access have been impacted due to the coronavirus.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has changed lives,” said Funderburk, also a registered dietitian with SNAP-Ed at Auburn University. “We would like to understand how it has affected Alabamians when it comes to food purchasing behaviors, including access and availability of foods.”

Specialists are gathering information about household purchases and food assistance program needs through the survey. It can be found at https://aub.ie/coronavirus-survey.

Survey Participation

The survey is voluntary and anonymous. Due to the broad-reaching impacts on the availability of food, the survey may be longer than typical surveys. However, Funderburk says the gathering of as much accurate information as possible is essential to food security in the future.

Those wishing to participate should use the following guidelines:

  • Must be age 18 or older.
  • Complete the survey only one time per household.
  • Submit survey by July 15.

Results will help inform future program and resource development as they relate to food access and food security.

“We are encouraging as many people as possible to take this survey,” Funderburk said. “The results will help us be better prepared in future emergencies.”

In addition, participants who choose to provide their email address at the end of the survey may be entered in a raffle to receive one of twenty $50 gift cards to Walmart.

Food insecurity is defined as limited access, at times, to nutritious food to maintain a healthy lifestyle. According to Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap study, 17 percent of Alabamians are food insecure as compared to 11.5 percent in the United States overall last year.

More Information

For more information, contact Katie Funderburk at kem0017@auburn.edu.

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