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The Social Supportive Role of Food and Meals Following Hurricane Florence

  • Lauren Clay ORCID logo EMAIL logo , Alex Greer , Rachel Slotter and Danielle King


This study uses the Theory of Social Support to examine the impact of Hurricane Florence on the local food system during the immediate response to the disaster focusing on the social supportive nature of food and meals. Using a quick response disaster research methodology, field observations and qualitative interviews were conducted in Eastern North Carolina, in the days following Hurricane Florence in September 2018. Individuals affected by Hurricane Florence were recruited from emergency food and meal distribution sites. A codebook consisting of 66 parent and child codes based on the Theory of Social Support was applied to analyze 23 individual interviews. Sharing food with neighbors and/or relatives and utilizing post-disaster community feeding services improved the coping capacity of survivors. Results from this study contribute to the understanding of the post-disaster food environment and may help to improve food related response and recovery to meet the needs of those affected.

Corresponding author: Lauren Clay, Department of Emergency Health Services, University of Maryland Baltimore County, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD, 21250-0001, USA, E-mail:

Funding source: Gulf Research Program

Award Identifier / Grant number: 2000009650


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Received: 2021-04-08
Accepted: 2022-06-28
Published Online: 2022-09-19

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