Accelerating Food Security

Food and Nutrition Security during COVID-19


One in seven Americans use food banks to get food for themselves and their families. The COVID-19 pandemic both presented challenges to and revealed many inequities in our food system. It disrupted food system supply chains, altered consumer purchasing patterns, exponentially increased demands on the emergency feeding system, and resulted in rapid changes to nearly all federal food assistance programs. COVID-19 forced many of our nutrition and food assistance programs to adapt, and, in many cases, improve through alternative program delivery methods, practices, or policies to meet the changing health and safety needs of the populations who relied on them.

The Accelerating Food Security: Supply Chain Innovation Fellowship is focused on documenting and identifying lessons learned from these pandemic-related changes as this is a unique and time-sensitive opportunity to enhance food and nutrition services now and in the future.

The Academy Foundation is looking to promote innovative food assistance programs that helped people get enough food during COVID-19. Selected programs will be featured as case studies and promoted in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ webinars, educational materials, and research articles.

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Accelerating Food Security (AFS): Supply Chain Innovation Fellowship

In early 2021, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation worked with the National Dairy Council to create and fund a new project titled "Accelerating Food Security: Supply Chain Innovation Fellowship" to lift up and learn from the innovative and exceptional programs and projects to address food and nutrition security that arose during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This Fellowship is led by Betsy Anderson Steeves, PhD, RDN and is working to identify and develop six to eight case studies around innovative projects or programs in which food banks and other charitable food system organizations are working to provide nutritious food to individuals and families experiencing food insecurity during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Results and lessons learned from these case studies will be disseminated to nutrition professionals and the broader public to optimize services provided to food insecure populations, and to accelerate food security for all.

To learn more, view a presentation about the AFS Fellowship project, which also contains information about other fellowship opportunities from the Foundation. The presentation was given during the 2021 Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo™, and features past Foundation Chair, Kathy Wilson Gold, and AFS Fellow, Betsy Anderson Steeves.

Additional Resources