NYHealth Survey of Food and Health
Healthy Food, Healthy Lives
September 22, 2021
Food insecurity exists in every part of New York State, with stark racial and ethnic disparities across regions.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the rate of food insecurity increased by 35% and existing disparities and inequities have been exacerbated. Through its Healthy Food, Healthy Lives priority area, NYHealth is taking a policy and systems-oriented approach to improving health and food security in New York State. A statewide survey of food-insecure New Yorkers will inform and influence better policymaking related to food and health and ensure that policy is rooted in the real-life experiences of affected New Yorkers. In 2021, NYHealth awarded Luminas a grant to conduct a statewide survey that will yield actionable data for the Foundation, policymakers, and other stakeholders.
Under this grant, Luminas conducted a statewide online survey of a representative sample of food-insecure adult New Yorkers. The survey was conducted in both English and Spanish, and collected data on factors such as gender, age, race/ethnicity, education, income, and households with and without children. Luminas also conducted an online focus group and interviews with food-insecure participants. NYHealth staff analyzed the data from the survey and focus group and distilled the findings into reports and online tools for broad dissemination among stakeholders, including the media, policymakers, community-based organizations, and advocates. The data will be used to advocate for sound food policy; demonstrate the need for new programs or changes in existing programs; and identify gaps in services or needs among populations. By learning about New Yorkers’ experiences and priorities, as well as what types of solutions work for them, NYHealth and other policymakers will be better positioned to respond.