Project Title: Food Insecurity in the Youth of VA: What Can We Do about It?
BASIS Advisor: Megan Floyd
Internship Location: Virginia Department of Education
Onsite Mentor: Atif Qarni
During COVID, with schools closed and mass lay-offs, it seems that food insecurity has been painfully brought into focus. In Virginia, the pandemic has caused 275,000 people to become food insecure, and about a third of them are children under 18. How can local and state governments work to solve this issue? Different officials from the Virginia Department of Education (DoE), the Department of Agriculture, and the private sector all have different approaches to solving food insecurity. In my project, I will work with the Virginia DoE to interview various officials and collect data on food insecurity among NoVA’s youth, then compile a paper summarizing the state of food insecurity and possible suggestions for improvements. By conducting this research at a time when more COVID-related data is being released alongside the 2020 census, this paper will be useful to the Department of Education in informing its policies for the 2021 year and also be crucial in spreading awareness about the drastic increase in the youth in our area going hungry.