Heading into a third year of the pandemic, 19.7% of healthcare support workers say they have faced food insecurity in the previous month, a study found. Compare that to a 6.6% food insecurity rate among all healthcare workers.
The problem is the worst in nursing homes, where 22.7% of healthcare support workers, people who work as aides and assistants, reported lacking access to enough food, the study published this fall in Health Affairs showed.
Healthcare workers have often been missed in conversations about food access because previous studies and interventions have focused on the general population, said Mithuna Srinivasan, principal research scientist at NORC at the University of Chicago and an author of the study on healthcare worker food insecurity.
“The gap in that research is that it was all focused on patients’ food insecurity,” Srinivasan said. “Nobody asked the questions from the standpoint of healthcare workers themselves.”