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Potential determinants of food security among refugees in the U.S.: an examination of pre- and post- resettlement factors

Danielle L. Nunnery () and Jigna M. Dharod ()
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Danielle L. Nunnery: University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Jigna M. Dharod: University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, 2017, vol. 9, issue 1, 163-179

Abstract: Abstract The objectives of this paper are: 1) to examine the socio-demographic characteristics and prevalence of food insecurity in three groups of refugees resettled in the U.S.; 2) to describe themes that arose as potential determinants of food insecurity for refugees; and 3) to posit a conceptual model of the potential determinants of food insecurity for refugees and how they interrelate. This is a case study based on the analysis of three nutritional assessment studies conducted with Asian and African refugees (n = 97 combined). A mixed methods approach was adopted with a semi-structured interview questionnaire, containing both quantitative and open-ended qualitative questions. Interviews were conducted in-home by community interviewers. Seventy percent (n = 69) of the sample, which represented a group that has been resettled in the U.S. for an average of 8 years, experienced some level of food insecurity. Themes related to previous food shortage in refugee camps, health care costs, and remittance of resources to relatives back home emerged as factors impacting food security and demonstrating its lack for those who have been resettled for even as many as 8 years. Pre-resettlement factors and transnational remittance have been understudied as they relate to the food security status of resettled refugees. With greater investigation, the knowledge acquired of these factors could impact the way resettlement programs design education, training and counseling for refugees.

Keywords: Food insecurity; Refugee; Pre-resettlement; Post-resettlement; United States (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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