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Food insecurity increases as pandemic continues

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Town Crier “Briefs from the Region” (2) – 2/3/21

There are a lot of overlooked consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, Montana State University researchers have found, including food insecurity and increased feelings of anxiety and distress. Food insecurity, defined as someone’s inability to access enough food to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle, has increased from 11 percent, pre-pandemic, to 18 percent currently, in Montana alone. In the early weeks of the pandemic, when many were stocking up on food and supplies in preparation for a lockdown, 77 percent of survey respondents said they were unable to find food they needed.

“Recommendations to stock up on food and limit trips to the grocery store aren’t possible for those who can’t afford to purchase large amounts of food, or who live in communities without access to a consistent food supply,” Carmen Byker Shanks told MSU News Service. Byker Shanks, who led the study, is a professor for MSU’s Department of Health and Human Development Center.

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