The early months of the COVID-19 pandemic brought about significant disruptions in food supply chains, which increased consumers’ concern about possible food shortages and price gouging. To ensure personal food security, many consumers began stockpiling food and water in unusually large amounts.
The goal of this study was to investigate individual- and household-level predictors of food and water stockpiling (FWS) in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic among Non-Latino Black and Latino adults.
Study Design, Settings, and Participants
This study was a secondary analysis of cross-sectional survey data. Participants were 2,174 Non-Latino Black (66.4%) and Latino (33.6%) adults residing in a Midwestern state, who completed the survey in either May or June/July 2020.
Participants were asked to self-report (yes or no) if they stockpiled food and/or water in the prior 7 days in response to the pandemic. A variety of variables was examined, including education level, annual income, employment status, concerns about COVID-19, and self-quarantine status. Crude and adjusted logistic regressions were used to identify variables associated with FWS.
Non-Latino Black participants had lower odds of reporting FWS compared to Latinos (OR 0.64; 95% CI, 0.51-0.79). Similarly, participants who were not concerned about COVID-19 had lower odds of FWS compared with those extremely concerned (OR 0.37; 95% CI, 0.20 – 0.71). In contrast, odds of FWS were higher among participants who were self-quarantining all the time compared to those who were not (OR 2.16; 95% CI, 1.31 – 3.59).
Results showed that Latinos, adults concerned about COVID-19, and self-quarantine status had significantly higher odds of FWS during the pandemic.