Complementary projects on food insecurity funded by Russell Sage
The Russell Sage Foundation has announced
funding for two complementary projects related to food insecurity among older
adults, and conducted by Maxwell faculty members. One is a qualitative
assessment funded at $48,191 and led by Madonna Harrington Meyer, University
Professor of Sociology, while the other, funded for $34,997, involves
quantitative analysis, conducted by Colleen Heflin, professor of public
administration and international affairs.
These complementary projects, which are
expected to result in a book-length manuscript, will assess the social,
political, and economic dimensions of old-age food insecurity. Harrington Meyer
intends to conduct 60 interviews with people aged over 60, to assess how
sociodemographic factors shape old age food
insecurity; coping strategies; the impact on physical, emotional, and family
wellbeing; and policy changes to reduce food insecurity among older adults.
Heflin’s work will examine trends, patterns, and correlates of food insecurity
among older adults, using data from the Current Population Survey, the Survey
of Income and Program Participation, the Health and Retirement Survey, and data
on charitable organizations collected from the Internal Revenue Service.
The funding is made through Russell Sage’s
Presidential Grant Project Award. The Russell Sage Foundation was founded in
1907 to better “social and living conditions in the United States.” Today it
focuses on improving the methodological and theoretical core of the social
sciences in order to help develop and enhance social policies. In addition to
research funding and support, the foundation also sponsors seminars and working
groups and maintains an in-house publication wing to help better disseminate
social science research.
Harrington Meyer, who is also a Laura J. and
L. Douglas Meredith Professor for Teaching Excellence, senior research
associate at the Center for Policy Research, and a faculty affiliate with the
Aging Studies Institute, primarily studies social policy, aging, and gender.
She has previously written or edited five books, with a sixth (Grandparenting Children with Disabilities)
scheduled for publication this April. In 2016, Harrington Meyer received the
Matilda White Riley Distinguished Scholar Award from the American Sociological
Association’s Section on Aging and the Life Course.
Heflin, who is also a senior research
associate with the Center for Policy Research and a research affiliate with the
University of Kentucky’s Center for Poverty Research, specializes in the study
of social policy, food and nutrition policy, and social demography. The author
of more than 50 peer-reviewed publications, Heflin conducts research that has
been published in Social Science &
Medicine, Social Services Review,
and the American Sociological Review,
among other journals.
You can read more about Harrington Meyer’s grant and Heflin’s grant at the Russell Sage Foundation website.