Repeated Cross-Sectional Surveys of Registered Dietitian Nutritionists Demonstrate Rapid Practice Changes to Address Food Insecurity During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic.

Repeated Cross-Sectional Surveys of Registered Dietitian Nutritionists Demonstrate Rapid Practice Changes to Address Food Insecurity During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic.

Publication date: Feb 01, 2024

The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic had worldwide economic impact, exacerbating food insecurity risk for vulnerable populations. To describe changes in practice and challenges and areas of need related to addressing food insecurity during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic for registered dietitian nutritionist survey respondents. A cross-sectional, anonymous, online survey distributed via the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics e-mail communication platform and social media accounts from April through May 2020 (Wave 1 [W1]) and December 2020-February 2021 (Wave 2 [W2]). Participants were US-based registered dietitian nutritionists practicing in community-based settings to address food insecurity (W1: n = 454; W2: n = 331). Responses were descriptively summarized using means +/- SD, medians and interquartile ranges, or number of observations and percentages. Open-ended responses were manually reviewed and organized into major themes. Respondents had about 10 years of experience in addressing food insecurity and were most commonly involved with the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, federal school nutrition programs, or food banks. Participants described increased demand for food security assistance (W1: 68%; W2: 60%). Among respondents involved in food preparation and handling (W1: n = 183; W2: n = 110), supply chain (W1: 61%; W2: 56%) and staffing (W1: 37%; W2: 50%) challenges were commonly reported. Child nutrition program professionals (W1: n = 143; W2: n = 84) reported widespread implementation of optional program waivers, with the most commonly implemented waivers allowing noncongregate meal service (W1: 83%; W2: 81%), caregivers to pick up meals (W1: 69%; W2: 85%), and flexibility in mealservice times (W1: 75%; W2: 87%). Respondents quickly adapted programs to ensure staff and client safety while continuing to provide essential food security services. They identified the need for ongoing nutrition program policy advocacy and timely access to best practice resources during public health emergencies.

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Concepts Keywords
Coronavirus Coronavirus
Dietetics Cross
February Dietitian
Insecurity Food
Insecurity
N=
Nutrition
Nutritionists
Pandemic
Practice
Registered
Respondents
Sectional
W1
W2

Semantics

Type Source Name
disease MESH Coronavirus Disease 2019
drug DRUGBANK Etoperidone
disease MESH emergencies

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