Accessing Opportunities for Household Provisioning Post-COVID-19

The acquisition of food and household necessities has been dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic as people are asked to minimize travel to avoid exposure, supply chains are disrupted, transit services are reduced, and stores and restaurants have closed or modified operations. Aided by technology, online retailers and delivery services are filling some gaps left by the disruption. However, the ability to access goods and services varies substantially across different subgroups of the population. This project aims to capitalize on this unique opportunity to understand activity and travel behavioral change during this dynamic period of crisis and recovery, examine the ways new technologies may be used in household provisioning, and identify the most common barriers faced by vulnerable subgroups, such as the elderly, low-income, or disabled populations. There is a limited window of opportunity to capture how households respond as local, state, and federal governments impose and lift restrictions, brick-and-mortar establishments close and potentially reopen, and e-commerce and delivery services adjust. In this project, the research team uses a mixed-methods study to collect critical information to evaluate the extent to which people modify their shopping behavior, either by choice or necessity, to meet their provisioning needs during the COVID-19 crisis and the following recovery. First, a two-wave cross-sectional survey will be administered to a sample (N~4,000) from Oregon and Arizona with varying location, demographic, and economic characteristics. This longitudinal, comparative study responds directly to a critical research gap and advances behavioral science by providing empirical evidence to support and test theories of behavioral change and technology adoption. Second, qualitative interviews and/or focus groups will be conducted with key informants working with the population most vulnerable to complications with COVID-19, and therefore most constrained by social distancing guidelines. Here, the focus will be on the strategies used in provisioning, challenges experienced, and assessment of unmet need. The findings of this research will be critical for emergency planning but also for understanding the ever-changing mechanism used to access retail and service opportunities (whether in-person vs. online), and the opportunities for future interventions to remedy barriers to accessing food that are relevant after the pandemic recovery.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $309093
  • Contract Numbers:



  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    TREC at Portland State University

    1900 SW Fourth Ave, Suite 175
    P.O. Box 751
    Portland, Oregon  United States  97201
  • Performing Organizations:

    Portland State University

    1900 SW Fourth Avenue, Suite 175
    Portland, Oregon  United States  97201

    University of Arizona

    College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture
    1040 N. Olive Road
    Tucson, Arizona  United States  85719

    University of Oregon, Eugene

    Eugene, OR  United States  97403
  • Principal Investigators:

    Clifton, Kelly

    Currans, Kristina

    Howell, Amanda

  • Start Date: 20200801
  • Expected Completion Date: 20220930
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01747040
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Institute for Transportation and Communities
  • Contract Numbers: NITC-1435, 69A3551747112
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Jul 28 2020 6:40PM