Author ORCID Identifier


Date of Award

Summer 8-8-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Ike S. Okosun

Second Advisor

Chinedu Egbuonu


INTRODUCTION: Ten percent of Georgia households reported being food insecure between 2018 to 2020, and 3.8 percent of Georgia households with children reported being food insecure. These prevalence rates of food insecurity represent a 1.3% and 1% increase from data collection between 2008 and 2010 for Georgia households and children, respectively. A WalletHub study found that from the beginning of 2021 to the beginning of 2023, Atlanta saw the third-largest increase in homicide rates.

AIM: This study examines the relationship between food insecurity and violent crime, including murder, robbery, and rape in Georgia, controlling for various socioeconomic factors.

METHODS: The 2020 county-level violent crime data from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, the 2020 county-level food insecurity data from Feeding America Map the Meal Gap data, the 2020 county-level data on Georgia population health outcomes and demographics from the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, and the U.S. Census Bureau were used for this study. Pearson correlation and linear regression analyses were conducted to determine the degrees of linear associations between food insecurity and violent crimes.

RESULTS: There were statistically significant positive correlations and associations between food insecurity and murder, rape, and robbery in Georgia, controlling for median household income, unemployment level, and lack of insurance.

DISCUSSION: The strong association between food insecurity and violent crimes observed in this study suggests the need for public health action to address food insecurity. Policymakers should develop robust evidence-based policy solutions that target a community's food needs.


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