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Wednesday, November 10 • 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Community-Specific Research Coordination During COVID-19 in Austin, Texas: Collaboration and Community Experiences with Food Insecurity and Food Access Issues

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, food insecurity and food access issues came center-stage, and usually research lags behind. Anticipating the need for timely data, researchers from UTHealth School of Public Health and the Dell Medical School’s Population Health Department independently yet collaboratively sought to better understand how food insecurity and food access issues were being experienced by lower-income, racially/ethnically diverse community members during the pandemic. Leveraging existing partnerships and COVID-specific research projects , teams from these institutions gathered quantitative and qualitative data at various stages of the pandemic to see how these issues were impacting community members . Although the researchers worked with different communities in Central Texas, both research teams found that pre-existing disparities and inequities in food access and food insecurity were exacerbated and widened during the pandemic. Their data brings to light barriers in access to services, such as language spoken, immigration status and family size. These community-specific findings are crucial to understanding not only how food insecurity and food access issues are occurring locally, but how we can develop policies and programs to support those most in need. To that end, data from these projects was shared with the City of Austin to inform food access planning.

avatar for Alexandra van den Berg

Alexandra van den Berg

Associate Director, Michael and Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living, UT School of Public Health
Dr. Alexandra van den Berg is a Professor of Behavioral Sciences and Health Promotion in the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living (the Center) at The University of Texas Houston School of Public Health in Austin. She received her Master of Public Health degree from the University... Read More →
avatar for Kathryn Janda

Kathryn Janda

Dr. Kathryn Janda is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHealth) School of Public Health in Austin and the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living in the UTHealth - National Cancer Institute Cancer Control Research Training Program. She... Read More →
avatar for Marianna Espinoza

Marianna Espinoza

Learning and Evaluations Manager, Dell Medical School
Marianna Espinoza, MPH is the Learning & Evaluation Manager for Community-DrivenInitiatives (CDI) at the University of Texas Dell Medical School. CDI partners withindividuals and organizations to improve the health of their community by creating localsolutions to local problems. Although... Read More →
avatar for Kacey Hanson

Kacey Hanson

Program Manager, Dell Medical School
Kacey Hanson was born in Austin, Texas. Hanson graduated from Xavier University of Louisiana with a Bachelor of Science and earned her Master of Public Health in maternal and child health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.Prior to joining Dell Medical School, she... Read More →
avatar for Aida Nielson

Aida Nielson

Project Director, Michael and Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living and UTHealth School of Public

Wednesday November 10, 2021 3:00pm - 4:00pm CST

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