How To Use Data To Address Food Access – Next City

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How To Use Data To Address Food Access

October 14, 2020

Historically, food relief organizations and the government have not coordinated their efforts in a streamlined way to reduce duplicate efforts for the same goal to provide food to those in need. Although individual organizations have been able to scale food delivery systems with incredible speed, there has been no sustainable model to guide the deployment of resources.

Do Good Auto Coalition (DGAC) is a nonprofit organization that supports car dealerships in lending vehicles to transport supplies and food to those in need.

Back in March, when stay-at-home orders began in Newark, DGAC used their data analysis tool to map by zip code the meals that were distributed by local organizations. Overlaid on these maps were affordable housing information and unemployment claim data. In doing this, the City of Newark was able to identify which areas were most in need.

After DGAC launched the tool, the city of Newark has agreed to share its data with the organization. Since its inception, Do Good Auto Coalition has delivered 667,908 pounds of food. 

“Without data, you are just guessing,” says Nelson. “I am passionate about using my engineering background to help the nonprofit sector use data to amplify their impact.”

Nelson is the Senior Vice President of Do Good Auto Coalition. She has a background in public utilities, insurance, marketing and nonprofit management. Jen is passionate about using data to help solve the logistics of food insecurity.  She enjoys reading, live music and volunteers as a Girl Scout troop leader.

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