Trenton Area Free Food Resources
As discussed in previous blogs, Trenton Health Team (THT) has been working on an interactive mapping tool of free food resources in the Trenton area. The new tool launched in early July and has received positive feedback from the Trenton Food Stakeholders (TFS) group and community members. Since the launch of the new tool, THT’s Food Resources page has received more than 1,400 views, and the food tool has had 428 unique users.
The tool shows a listing of Summer Meal sites – a priority for our community – as well as regular services such as pantries and one-time food giveaway events. To help people find food options that meet their needs and schedule, the directory is searchable by any keyword, and can be filtered by day of the week, time of day, eligibility restrictions, and the type of food offered. It also has an interactive map that can be shown or hidden, and which allows users to search sites near a given address.
THT has started to analyze the data we have on food services in order to identify gaps and work with TFS to address those gaps. Our preliminary analysis of regular sites (excluding Summer Meals) shows that they are not equally available in all days, times, and neighborhoods. To better understand food availability relative to need, we have also mapped our data against Social Determinants of Health, such as income and poverty, limited English proficiency, and households without access to a car.
We are currently working with TFS and other stakeholders to answer several remaining questions about the food resources that are available:
- What is the best way to assess demand and capacity at each site?
- What is a reasonable distance for people to travel to get food?
- How do we map/track programs that deliver (that are not tied to a particular location), like Meals on Wheels?
We are still in the early stages of analyzing our food data and we will continue to work with TFS to gather more information and analyze it. We are also working with TFS to launch a resident survey to better understand food needs across the community. We will share more information in future blogs.
About the Grantee
Trenton Health Team is an innovative, multi-sector partnership dedicated to the health and well-being of the greater Trenton community.