Impacts Of COVID-19 On Food and Nutrition Security Among Front Line Food Industry Workers in Kenya and India and the Potential Role of Workforce Nutrition in Mitigating These Challenges: A Thematic Analysis Open Access

Carty, Chantal (Spring 2022)

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Introduction: According to the 2020 Global Nutrition Report, 1 in 9 people globally are hungry or undernourished. Poor diets and resulting malnutrition are responsible for much of the world’s global burden of disease. Food security, therefore, is a necessary and critical element for good health in all populations. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted food infrastructures globally. Collectively, these impacts have exacerbated nutrition-based diseases and poor health outcomes, primarily in Low- and Middle-Income Countries. In response, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) issued an emergency grant program –Keeping Food Markets Working (KFMW), to food sector companies in its partner countries. This research examined the implementation process and outcomes of the grant program in order to compare and contrast the impacts of COVID-19 on the food systems in Kenya and India with a particular focus on the role of workplace-based interventions in addressing challenges to food and nutrition security

Methods: Semi-structured key informant interviews were conducted with GAIN country office personnel and company leadership from the grantee organizations. Structured beneficiary surveys were administered to employees within the organizations. Interviews were conducted virtually by the Emory University Research team and in country research partners. They were recorded, transcribed, and thematic analysis was conducted to identify patterns and themes across the data.

Results: COVID-19 had detrimental impacts on the Kenya and India’s food infrastructures and on the livelihoods of front-line food workers in the countries. Interview participants and survey respondents expressed overall satisfaction and gratitude for the KFMW grant. They found it helpful at temporarily alleviating food and nutrition insecurities caused by the pandemic. Companies also saw increases in workers’ motivation and productivity as a result of the grant. The most notable critique offered was that the grant period was too short to make a sustained impact.

Conclusions: The KFMW grant program was an overall success at supporting COVID-19 induced food and nutrition needs among food industry workers. The implementation of this grant by employers demonstrated the high potential and ability for workforce nutrition interventions to practically and effectively improve and protect the food and nutrition security of millions of workers worldwide.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction 1

Introduction and Rationale 1

Problem statement 3

Research question 3

Purpose Statement 4

Significance Statement 4

Definition of terms 5

Chapter 2: Review of the Literature 7

COVID-19 Pandemic 7

COVID-19 Profile in Kenya and India 9

Food and Nutrition profiles in Kenya and India 14

Impact of COVID-19 on Food and nutrition in Kenya and India 21

Workforce Nutrition 25

Chapter 3: Methodology 37

Overview of Approach 37

KFMW Applications & Company selection 38

Research Partners 39

Qualitative Research: Key Informant Interviews 40

Data Collection 40

Beneficiary Surveys 42

Research Tools 42

Sampling & Data collection 43

Data Analysis 44

Thematic Analysis 44

Research Ethics 44

Chapter 4: Results 45

Company Perceived Impacts of COVID 45

Loss of Income and Livelihood 45

Food and Nutrition Security 47

Workforce Nutrition 49

Workforce Nutrition Pre-Pandemic 49

KFMW as Workforce Nutrition 52

Future Workforce Nutrition Programming 54

Impact of the KFMW Grant 55

Beneficiary Reception and Survey Results 55

Grant Duration 57

Impact on Companies/Workforce 58

Beneficiary Survey Tables 59

Chapter 5: Discussion 63

Limitations 72

Public Health Implications & Recommendations 74

References 76

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