Innovative mapping tool helps identify food deserts

Nourishment Network among users of tool

Jacksonville, FLA – Nonprofit organizations like Nourishment Network have dedicated their resources to solve the hunger problem in our community and throughout the state. However, accurately pinpointing the most food-insecure areas has been a challenge over the years and more than ever nonprofits must find the most effective approaches to solve hunger in Florida.

To better identify communities in need across Florida and help nonprofits and food banks determine the most effective approaches, the Florida Department of Agriculture launched a new online GIS hunger-mapping tool this week.

"The Florida Department of Agriculture launched "Florida's Roadmap to Living Healthy" this week on freshfromflorida.com that uses Geographic Information Systems, also known as GIS technology, to allow people to view data from the statewide view down to the street level. This is the first time something like this has been done to identify gaps in resources on a statewide level" Frank Ormonde, executive director of Nourishment Network, said.

This interactive, online map overlays data available on health and wellness by census track, including food deserts, food stamp households and death rates attributable to nutrition-related diseases. It also overlays assets available to communities, including food banks (like us), food pantries, farmers markets, child nutrition programs, federally-qualified health centers and school performance.

The tool is customizable so organizations like Nourishment Network can overlay our own data to help make strategic decisions about community outreach.

Nourishment Network is a food source that works to solve hunger by supplying nonprofit agenices with food for their clients as well as through mass distributions of food we deliver direct into neighborhoods in need – such as food deserts. With such a large network, there are many ways people can come together to help Nourishment Network solve hunger.

Nourishment Network has many Mass Food Distributions planned for September:

Wednesday, Sept. 10 at 8 a.m.
St. Vincent De Paul – 111 N. Francis St., Interlachen, 32148

Thursday, Sept.11 at 12 p.m.
Evangel Temple Southwest – 5040 CR 218, Middleburg, 32068

Friday, Sept. 12 at 10 a.m.
Lutheran Social Services – 4615 Philips Highway, 32207

Saturday, Sept. 13 at 8 a.m.
Gateway Town Center –5152 Norwood Avenue, 32208

Tuesday, Sept. 23 at 8 a.m.
Believer's Harvest Time Ministries – 1330 SR 100 Grandin, 32138

Wednesday, Sept. 24 at 12:30 p.m.
St. Monica Catholic Church – 501 Oak St., Palatka

Friday, Sept. 26 at 8 a.m.
St. Andrews Episcopal – 111 S. Francis Street, Interlachen, FL 32148