Addressing Food Insecurity in Northwest Arkansas - Identifying Barriers and Ways to Strengthen the Charitable Food System

The Walmart Foundation engaged CGR to examine food insecurity and the charitable food delivery network in Northwest Arkansas (Washington and Benton Counties) to better understand the state of food insecurity and to identify barriers to and gaps in services within this network. CGR analyzed national and local demographic and socioeconomic data on food insecurity and related indicators; inventoried and surveyed local charitable food providers; partnered with the Hark Center for Collaborative care, an Arkansas-based organization to conduct 24 focus groups with charitable food providers and their clients; and created and online interactive map displaying the location and characteristics of food resources in the context of geographic socioeconomic data. Challenges within the charitable food network identified by the study include providing a variety of healthy, fresh food on a regular basis, accessing charitable food resources during non-work hours, and transportation to charitable food resources. The project also identifies community-generated ideas for addressing food insecurity and strengthening the charitable food network in Northwest Arkansas. Data in the report and interactive map serves as a tool to inform planning, collaboration and investments in the community among local stakeholders including civic leaders, funders and providers concerned about meeting the long term food security needs in our community.

Report Date: Oct 2018
Author(s): Erika Rosenberg , Alice Carle , Barbara Zappia
Subject(s): Human Services , Surveys & Analysis , Census Data Interpretation
Location: Benton, Arkansas

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