Year of Publication



Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Degree Name

Master of Public Financial Management

Committee Chair

Dr. Ron Zimmer

Executive Summary

Food insecurity in Kentucky is at a crisis point. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and recent natural disasters, it has only gotten worse. Nonprofit organizations that focus on food insecurity are fighting to fill the gap between federal and state programs but still struggle to find enough resources as demand grows. In order to help achieve their strategic missions, organizations often engage in collaboration with one another. The COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally changed the landscape of many services and businesses across the world and certainly in Kentucky. Food insecurity organizations were faced with new challenges because of the health crisis and responded with altering their services. One of the key questions of this paper was to determine if and how the pandemic had an impact on collaboration with food insecurity organizations. Further, ‘trust’ is considered an important role in collaboration. The second question this paper sought to determine is if and how the pandemic had an effect on the way organizations built or perceived trust. Surveys were sent to food insecurity focused organizations across the commonwealth of Kentucky. Respondents were asked a variety of questions relating to the key research questions noted before. The findings were that the pandemic did not significantly affect collaboration levels between food insecurity nonprofits. Furthermore, trust levels between those organizations were not significantly affected either. This was determined by summarizing and evaluating responses in both a quantitative and qualitative manner. However, all organizations noted that demand during and after the pandemic increased and continue to do so. These findings are of note for food 3 | P a g e insecurity nonprofit managers that emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic do not materially affect collaboration or trust but increase in demand of services is likely to be experienced.