Policy & Research


Food Insufficiency During the COVID-19 Pandemic — Pulse on Kansas, Issue 4 (March 4, 2021)

By Emily Burgen, M.P.H., Wen-Chieh Lin, Ph.D. | March 04, 2021

Food Insufficiency During the COVID-19 Pandemic — Pulse on Kansas, Issue 4 (March 4, 2021)


In the wake of job loss and financial insecurity triggered by the pandemic, more Kansans may not have access to enough food. This issue of Pulse on Kansas examines which Kansans age 18 and older experienced food insufficiency before and during the pandemic and how their experience with food insufficiency changed compared to the pre-pandemic period.

The Pulse on Kansas series examines data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey covering important impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in Kansas. Sign up here to receive the latest issue and more by email or follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

Key Points include:

  • More than 200,000 Kansas adults — or one in every 10 (10.8 percent) — has experienced food insufficiency during the pandemic. The rate of food insufficiency among adults rose during the pandemic both in Kansas (from 8.4 to 10.8 percent) and in the U.S. (from 9.2 to 11.4 percent).
  • More than one in every five (21.9 percent) Hispanic, Any Race, Kansas adults, and 17.8 percent of non-Hispanic Black Kansas adults, experienced food insufficiency during the pandemic. These rates are more than two times higher than the rate among non-Hispanic White Kansas adults (8.7 percent).
  • Food insufficiency increased during the pandemic among Kansas adults of all races and ethnicities.
  • Adults in households with children were almost twice as likely to experience food insufficiency during the pandemic compared to households without children (15.0 percent compared to 7.9 percent), and were about 1.4 times more likely to lack food during the pandemic than in the months before the pandemic (15.0 percent compared to 10.8 percent).

The Household Pulse Survey is an ongoing federal survey that provides near real-time information about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on health, social and economic factors in Kansas and across the United States. This valuable resource allows for a deeper, data-driven understanding of the impact that the pandemic is having on our communities.

The Kansas Health Institute supports effective policymaking through nonpartisan research, education and engagement. KHI believes evidence-based information, objective analysis and civil dialogue enable policy leaders to be champions for a healthier Kansas. Established in 1995 with a multiyear grant from the Kansas Health Foundation, KHI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization based in Topeka.