Perspectives from the front line
The post-pandemic emergency food system in North Carolina
The novel coronavirus pandemic has had an immediate effect on food and nutrition security, leading to the most widespread increase in need for food assistance in modern history. At its onset, the pandemic led to emergency food providers experiencing the “perfect storm”: surges in demand, declines and changes in types of food donations, limits in the food supply chain, and fewer available volunteers. This policy and practice brief provides perspectives from emergency food providers in North Carolina on their pandemic response along with recommendations for policy and practice applications to promote food security. As the pandemic continues, it is urgent for policymakers, organizations, community members, and other food system stakeholders to encourage collaboration across food system sectors, provide adequate funding for all aspects of distributing healthy foods, promote a continuation of program and policy flexibilities for nutrition programs, and support community-based models that engage a diverse group of organizations and leaders.
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