Mission Success: Data to Feed the Hungry


Image(s) included
Post a comment
Mission Success: Data to Feed the Hungry
Mission Success: Data to Feed the Hungry

Guest blog post by Eric Newburger, Senior Scientist for Data Training, Office of the Chief Data Officer

People are using our data to feed the hungry.  The Capital Area Food Bank in Lorton, Virginia, has layered Department of Commerce datasets over their own to identify underserved populations in need of food aid.  As reported in the Huffington Post, a creative programmer with an idea for making the world a better place -- and the data to make his idea happen – is at the center of this success.   

Michael Hollister created a series of maps that overlaid the food bank’s own service data atop U.S. Census Bureau data, a U.S. Department of Agriculture ‘food-desert’ map, and Feeding America’s ‘Map the Meal Gap’ study.  They found holes in their coverage of areas with a high proportion of people in need of food aid, particularly in areas that bordered better known low income areas.  Working with a partner, the food bank also created a model of which food categories were most in demand, to make their purchases more efficient. 

These kinds of analyses, which combine public and private data resources with modeling and visualization, allow people in our community to make better decisions.  Or even, as in this case, help good people do good work.

Data similar to those used to create this visualization are available from the American Community Survey at the U.S. Census Bureau Web site. 

Text Box: Source: Michael Hollister, Capital Area Food Bank

Related content

Last updated: 2015-08-12 12:12

Bureaus & Offices