The Capital Area Food Bank is led by the input of the people it serves. Accordingly, the organization has made a practice of conducting in-depth surveys with its clients on a regular basis. The COVID-19 pandemic presented an even greater reason to seek a clear understanding of the challenges that individuals experiencing food insecurity are facing, prompting the food bank to conduct a nearly 2,000-person study in the spring of 2021.
The study approach incorporated a combination of qualitative and quantitative research with a broad cross-section of the Capital Area Food Bank’s clients. More than 1,800 people completed a 50-question online survey offered in several languages with an option to complete by phone in English or Spanish. Additionally, 60 people participated in focus groups or individual in-depth interviews in English and Spanish. Clients were compensated in appreciation for their time. While representation across the region and across various demographic characteristics was strong, the study should not be considered to have engaged a representative sample of food insecure individuals. One significant factor influencing the data is the overrepresentation of newly food insecure individuals among respondents.
The Capital Area Food Bank has found great value in these data for informing our work and strategy. We have also seen the powerful ways in which collaboration and information-sharing can create positive outcomes at scale for our neighbors. We have published a cross-section of the results from the 2021 survey in an appendix to this report for the benefit of those who are interested in engaging with this research more deeply.
We have published a cross-section of the results from the 2021 survey in an appendix to this report for the benefit of those who are interested in engaging with this research more deeply. You can explore those results below, sorted according to the following categories: