Six in 10 Americans say the COVID-19 pandemic has inspired them to give back to their communities, according to a new survey.
The survey asked 2,000 Americans about their experiences, including how they contribute to their communities and the impact COVID-19 has had on these habits.
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Two Good Yogurt and their One Cup, Less Hunger program, the survey found that nearly seven in 10 of respondents are more aware of the needs of those struggling in their communities because of the impact of the pandemic.
A further 63% of those polled said the pandemic was a wake-up call for them to find ways to give back to their community.
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The survey also set out to analyze the experiences of those polled in relation to food insecurity specifically and found four in 10 experienced this issue for the first time themselves due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Due to the uncertainty facing the country and many Americans at the beginning of the pandemic, 79% of survey respondents reported they struggled to find the support they needed when they were faced with food insecurity.
A further six in 10 respondents said that the expiration of federal stimulus programs made it more difficult to provide food for their family.
Of those respondents with direct experience with food insecurity (approximately 1,500 people), 63% shared they didn’t even realize they were experiencing food insecurity when they were.
Half of the respondents shared they’ve experienced not having enough money to purchase food, 37% have skipped meals so their children could eat and 35% have experienced not knowing where their next meal will come from. All of those experiences are common signs of food insecurity.
In fact, the average respondent struggles to provide food for themselves or their families four times a year.
Nearly six in 10 respondents shared they specifically want to volunteer with an organization that fights food insecurity; however, there seems to be some confusion about the extent of food insecurity in the United States.
In fact, sixty-three percent of respondents incorrectly believed that hunger and food insecurity can be used interchangeably. Fifty-one percent were not aware that 10.5% of U.S. households experienced food insecurity in 2019, according to the USDA.
“Two Good supported this survey to drive conversation around the increasingly urgent issue of food insecurity in our country,” shared Surbhi Martin, Vice President of Marketing at Danone North America. “We found that for nearly 40% of respondents, COVID-19 contributed to their first experience with food insecurity. The majority of those surveyed (63%) also did not realize they were food insecure – indicating a clear discrepancy in our collective understanding of what constitutes food insecurity in the first place.”
Seventy-one percent of those polled who have experienced food insecurity shared that giving back to other members of their communities struggling with this hardship is a top priority of theirs.
Respondents who have not been personally impacted still want to learn more about these issues, but 58% said they don’t know where to go to educate themselves further.
“In addition to launching our One Cup, Less Hunger program in-stores this fall and dedicating our social channels to amplifying the voices of our food rescue partners at City Harvest and We Don’t Waste this holiday season, sharing these new findings is another way Two Good is hoping to lend a hand to those who need it most,” added Martin.