Hi all! My name is Jamal Baig, and welcome to the blog!
During the pandemic, BASIS has been particularly unique in that most of our school has been hybrid, learning both virtually and in-person. This is not the case for the rest of the country. Over the past full year, schools across the nation have been shut, only recently reopening. Although much of the conversation has been about learning content virtually, another big issue is the food schools provide, especially in low-income areas. Many students depend on school breakfasts and lunches as a stable source of food, but COVID has disrupted this supply.Many secondary effects of the pandemic (such as getting laid off) have implications on food security, and in addition to schools being closed this has also been a big issue for increased insecurity. On top of that, local food pantries are struggling to adequately meet the increased demand since funding has stagnated as investors get their own financial issues.
My research project is about looking at food insecurity among NoVA’s youth during the pandemic. For my project, I am interning at the Virginia Department of Education and will be interviewing state and local officials about this issue. Because my work is virtual, this first week has been pretty quiet. Virginia’s legislative session ended about a month ago, so the Department is finally recovering from the intense season and beginning to shift into full gear as schools return in person. Over the course of the week, I began to get back in touch with both DoE officials and other officials I met earlier in the year to find a suitable interview date. Hopefully, I will have those dates set by the end of next week so I can prepare research between then and the interviews. Until then, take care!