Alisha Coleman-Jensen

Alisha Coleman-Jensen

Social Science Analyst


Alisha Coleman-Jensen is a social science analyst with the Food Assistance Branch. Her research focuses on the measurement and determinants of food insecurity.


Alisha joined the Economic Research Service in 2009. She is the team leader of U.S. food security research at ERS and is the lead author of USDA’s annual report Household Food Security in the United States. Her recent publications include research on disability as a risk factor for food insecurity, food insecurity among Hispanic adults, measuring food insecurity in households with children, cost-related medication underuse among adults in food-insecure households, and examining the relationships among food security, food prices, inflation, and unemployment. Prior to joining ERS, her research as a graduate student at Penn State broadly encompassed the well-being of rural families. She also served as an AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteer in Tompkins County, NY, where she helped to coordinate services to rural food pantries.


Alisha holds a Ph.D. in rural sociology and demography from The Pennsylvania State University, an M.S. in rural sociology from The Pennsylvania State University, and a B.S. in human development from Cornell University.

Selected Publications

Afulani, P., D. Herman, A. Coleman-Jensen, and G. Harrison. 2015. “Food Insecurity and Health Outcomes among Older Adults: The Role of Cost-Related Medication Underuse,” Journal of Nutrition in Gerontology and Geriatrics 34(3):319-342.

Herman, D., P. Afulani, A. Coleman-Jensen, G. Harrison, 2015, “Food Insecurity and Cost-Related Medication Underuse Among Nonelderly Adults in a Nationally Representative Sample,” American Journal of Public Health 105(10):e48-e59.

Fitzpatrick, K., and A. Coleman-Jensen. 2014. “Food on the Fringe: Food Security and the Use of Fringe Banks,” Social Service Review 88(4):553-593.

Nord, M., and A. Coleman-Jensen. 2014. “Improving Food Security Classification of Households with Children,” Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition 9(3):318-333.

Gregory, C., and A. Coleman-Jensen. 2013. “Do High Food Prices Increase Food Insecurity in the United States?” Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy 35(4):679-707.

Coleman-Jensen, A. 2012. “Predictors of U.S. Food Insecurity across Nonmetropolitan, Suburban, and Principal City Residence during the Great Recession,” Journal of Poverty 16(4):392-411.

Coleman-Jensen, A. 2011. “Working for Peanuts: Nonstandard Work and Food Insecurity Across Household Structure,” Journal of Family and Economic Issues 32(1):84-97.

Nord, M., and A. Coleman-Jensen. 2010. “Food Insecurity after Leaving SNAP,” Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition 5(4):434-453.

Coleman-Jensen, A. 2010. “U.S. Food Insecurity Status: Toward a Refined Definition,” Social Indicators Research 95(2):215-230.