The globally fast-spreading novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is now testing the abilities of all countries to manage its widespread implications on public health. To effectively contain its impacts, a nation-wide temporary lockdown was enforced in India. The resultant panic buying and stockpiling incidents together with spread of misinformation created a sense of food insecurity at local level. This paper discusses a specific case of Nagpur from the worst affected Maharashtra state of India, wherein the urban-rural food supply chains were reportedly disrupted. Based on formal interviews with local government officials, a month-long timeline of COVID-19 outbreak in Nagpur was studied along with the consequent government initiatives for maintaining public health and food supply. While the city residents were confined to their homes, this study then assessed their perceived food security at household level, along with their "Immediate Concerns" and "Key Information Sources". Through online surveys at two different time intervals, the concerns of "Food and Grocery" were found to be rising, and "Government Apps and Websites" were identified as the most reliable source of information. Based on the research findings, the authors further suggest specific policy recommendations for addressing the immediate and long-term concerns related to food systems in Nagpur.
Keywords: COVID-19; food security; food systems; lockdown; supply chain; urban–rural.