Skip to content

Food Bank Uses Data to Identify Areas in Need of Services

MFG Archive

In our latest news roundup, we take a look at how the Capital Area Food Bank identifies areas in need, originally featured on the Huffington Post.


The article originally featured in the Huffington Post tells the story of how one ambitious programmer is helping to overhaul the way one food bank in the U.S. Capital is identifying and feeding the hungry. Michael Hollister, the programmer in question, is helping the Capital Area Food Bank more accurately determine which areas are in the most need of food through maps drawn from data sets including U.S. Census Bureau survey data, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s food desert map and Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap study.


According to a story from the Washington Post, the maps have revealed surprising gaps between need and services. The information is now used to inform decisions about resource allocation for the food banks. In addition to helping allocate resources, the Capital Area Food Bank are also expanding their use of new technology in order to reduce hunger through a partnership with a predictive analytics software company, Applied Predictive Technologies.  Through this partnership, the organisation have created a hunger ‘heat map’ to identify which foods are in consistent demand, helping the Capital Area Food Bank more efficiently identify and optimise their purchases, and ultimately conserve resources.



To find out more about how the Capital Area Food Bank are using data to inform decisions from the original article by Joseph Erbentraut, “Food Bank Uses Big Data to Identify Areas in Need of Services“, originally published on the Huffington Post. You can follow Joe on Twitter at @robojojo, and the Huffington Post at @HuffingtonPost.


Have you seen anything newsworthy you think we should cover on the site? Be sure to share questions, articles or comments below, or let us know via FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn!