Journal of Food Security
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Journal of Food Security. 2015, 3(1), 6-10
DOI: 10.12691/jfs-3-1-2
Open AccessArticle

Coping Strategies Adopted by Households to Prevent Food Insecurity in Urban Slums of Delhi, India

Palak Gupta1, , Kalyani Singh1, Veenu Seth1, Sidharth Agarwal2 and Pulkit Mathur1

1Department of Food and Nutrition, Lady Irwin College, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India

2Urban Health Resource Center, New Delhi, India

Pub. Date: February 13, 2015

Cite this paper:
Palak Gupta, Kalyani Singh, Veenu Seth, Sidharth Agarwal and Pulkit Mathur. Coping Strategies Adopted by Households to Prevent Food Insecurity in Urban Slums of Delhi, India. Journal of Food Security. 2015; 3(1):6-10. doi: 10.12691/jfs-3-1-2


Background: The study tried to identify coping strategies adopted by urban slum dwellers to prevent the situation of food insecurity. Methods: A household-based cross-sectional study on a sample of 446 households was conducted. Structured interview schedule was used to collect data on coping strategies along with group discussions. Standard univariate analysis was done using SPSS (version-16). Results: Unique coping strategies were found to be adopted by households. Strategies included relying on less expensive foods like seasonal or locally available vegetables, limiting portion size of meals and reducing numbers of meals eaten in a day. To increase short-term availability of food, households borrowed food or lend money from friends or relatives, bought food on credit from private grocery shops, used reserves, and relied on food aid. Households ate at religious places in an attempt to increase access to food, withdrew children from school to save money on the school fees and also sent children to work. In case of extreme insecurity, migration was observed. Conclusions: Coping strategies used by the households can be seen as an expression of negotiated decisions to minimize the impact of food insecurity in the households. Hence, understanding these food insecurity coping strategies could be a good starting point to develop and formulate community based contextually sensitive interventions to improve household food insecurity.

coping strategies household food insecurity India urban slums

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