Nigeria's local food economy was affected by state-imposed restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19 in communities. Street food vendors and consumers are among local food system actors impacted by such restrictions because their livelihood and food security are contingent on daily operations on the street. Informed by a descriptive qualitative approach, we interviewed 31 street food vendors and consumers who shared their experiences on how the lockdown impacted them. Vendors reported various impacts, including losing income, customers, customer trust, and social connection. Street food consumers reported difficulties meeting their food needs and developing multiple coping strategies, including cutting back on fruit and vegetable consumption and food sharing. Both vendors and consumers would like to see measures put in place to allow them to operate safely in a future lockdown event. This study is timely as the country strives to balance human and economic health amid the pandemic.
Keywords: Street food vendors and consumers, livelihood, food security, COVID-19, Nigeria.