Locally, the Capital Area Food Bank has been using “big data” and mapping to identify hunger’s unmet needs. The Heat Map allowed the food bank to look at the communities they serve in different ways and identify gaps between hunger identified and food delivered. While the food bank was providing food to the most urgent areas, the Heat Map revealed that some suburban areas with a lower concentration of people with food insecurity food needs were almost completely unmet. In Virginia the Heat Map revealed suburban neighborhoods where children lack access to healthy food, especially in the summer. The area of greatest need identified was Prince William County, but here is hunger in Fairfax, too.
|From CAFB areas of food insecurity|
|from CAFB areas of unmet food need|
The Capital Area Food Bank has begun a new summer food program for children that will run until August 28. With the help of a donation of $150,000 from Shoppers Food & Pharmacy the Capital Area Food Bank retrofitted a school bus that will distribute food at four locations in Manassas. From the end of June until almost the end of the summer, the food bank’s retrofitted school bus will make daily stops at four pre-selected sites to serve lunch to a total of about 300 kids. The bus allows the food bank to take reliable, healthy meals to parts of Prince William County that that food pantries were unable to reach before.
There are lots of ways you can help stop hunger. Donate usable food to a food bank, shelter, soup kitchen or other organization that feeds hungry people in your community. Donate money to programs. Give of your time and yourself.
Haymarket Food Bank
Capital Area Food Bank
House of Mercy (they are really nice, they accept excess fresh farm produce and return your crates clean)