Pathways to food insecurity: Migration, hukou and Covid‐19 in Nanjing, China
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The COVID‐19 pandemic has issued significant challenges to food systems and the food security of migrants in cities. In China, there have been no studies to date focusing on the food security of migrants during the pandemic. To fill this gap, an online questionnaire survey of food security in Nanjing City, China, was conducted in March 2020. This paper situates the research findings in the general literature on the general migrant experience during the pandemic under COVID and the specifics of the Chinese policy of hukou. Using multiple linear regression and ordered logistic regression, the paper examines the impact of migration status on food security during the pandemic. The paper finds that during the COVID‐19 outbreak in 2020, households without local Nanjing hukou were more food insecure than those with Nanjing hukou. The differences related more to the absolute quantity of food intake, rather than reduction in food quality or in levels of anxiety over food access. Migrants in China and elsewhere during COVID‐19 experienced three pathways to food insecurity—an income gap, an accessibility gap, and a benefits gap. This conceptual framework is used to structure the discussion and interpretation of survey findings and also has wider potential applicability.