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Mitigating Food Insecurity During a National Crisis: Describing Food Banks' Resilience During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Young, Michelle LeAnne (2021) Mitigating Food Insecurity During a National Crisis: Describing Food Banks' Resilience During the Covid-19 Pandemic. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Food banks were established to address hunger in the U.S. because of an instability in government laws, federal programs, and community need. Food banks are front-line resources for many populations, especially during catastrophic events. The SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic is no exception. Federal, state, and local laws and guidelines to slow down the transmission of COVID-19, generated national economic instability and a sharp increase in all human welfare issues. Using Community Resilience Theory, this thesis aims to describe food banks’ experiences and resilience during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. The author contacted over 25 food banks out of 200 in the Feeding America network for interviews using a stratified design then convenience sampling method. Seven committed to interviews. Community Resilience Theory informed interview questions and coded themes. The author used deductive coding for each transcript using the following themes: initial determinants of program change, persistent pandemic challenges, assets, and program change. The author used inductive coding for subthemes. Policy changes to mitigate the SARS-CoV-2 virus at the local, state, and national levels in the way of “lock down” measures, social distancing procedures, personal protective equipment (PPE), and limitations on the number of people in enclosed spaces, created significant operational challenges for food banks and an increase in community need. Food banks felt they were resilient by overcoming the operational challenges and community need by creating new partnerships and utilizing the abundance of financial resources during the pandemic.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Young, Michelle LeAnnemly23@pitt.edumly23
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBear, Toddtobst2@pitt.edutobst2
Committee MemberFelter, Elizabethemfelter@pitt.eduemfelter
Committee MemberMurrell, Audreyamurrell@katz.pitt.eduamurrell
Committee MemberSeidel,
Date: 27 August 2021
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 6 August 2021
Approval Date: 27 August 2021
Access Restriction: 1 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 1 year.
Number of Pages: 68
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: No
Date Deposited: 27 Aug 2021 19:02
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2022 05:15


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