Identifying Food Pantries and Food Deserts in North Florida

Identifying Food Pantries and Food Deserts in North Florida

Smart North Florida (SNFL), the University of Florida, and the University of North Florida Hunger Network have developed a report on baseline data for public food pantries in Duval County to better understand potential disparities in access to food.

In order to flourish, communities must have access to nutritious, affordable food. Unfortunately that is not the case, as food deserts exist in cities across America.

SNFL has identified that  a key component of their mission is addressing and combating food deserts. To do so, it has started to utilize data to decrease the food desserts in the region.

Food deserts negatively impact the wellness index of the region, as, according to SNFL, food insecurity and lack of nutrition “increase the likelihood of chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, stroke, or liver disease.”

In its research, SNFL has identified that Duval County has one of the highest rates of food insecurity in the state of Florida: 20% of all adults in the county. 

SNFL students were able to design an interactive public map for Duval County to illustrate these findings.

This map visualizes the bus routes and their spatial relationship to food pantries, helping identify locations of pantries accessible to populations that utilize public transit.

The map also provides information about each pantry’s operational hours and details. 

Additionally, the students designed their map to be visually intuitive — viewers of the map are able to quickly see if pantries are accessible via drive-through, for example. This is indicated by “Y” and “N” symbolism on the digital map. 

Combatting food insecurity is a complex issue with no magic bullet; however having the ability to collect and display the right information is foundational for addressing the food access issues facing Jacksonville and beyond.

The white glow on the map indicates the area with the highest poverty levels in Duval County, FL. The bus stops and food pantry locations are added on top to provide a look at the relation between all factors.

About Smart North Florida

Smart North Florida (SNFL) started as an outgrowth of the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization (NFTPO) Intelligent Transportation Systems program for Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties. Their mission is to harness the power of regional collaboration, coordinated data, and smart technologies to improve North Florida’s economic competitiveness, sustainability and quality of life.

As such, Smart North Florida focuses resource investment in three areas — regional collaboration, data coordination, and smart technology — ensuring that investments are strategically deployed to improve the lives of all citizens in their region. Through integrating these three key values, SNFL efforts result in better policy making, economic competitiveness, opportunity, transparency, and sustainability for all who call North Florida home. 

Throughout 2022, SNFL has partnered with other regional organizations to put their mission to work. Utilizing the power of Urban SDK, and the young minds of University of Florida Association of Information Systems graduate students, a regional collaboration of modern thinkers have taken its course. The students have made headway in creating a smarter, data-driven region through four projects.

About Urban SDK

A global leader in mobility analytics and data visualization, Urban SDK is the only enterprise data analytics platform that equips professionals with the urban planning data needed to make efficient, data-driven planning decisions.

We provide organizations with clean data pipelines, automated performance reporting, and an on-demand repository of data that can be accessed and visualized in our GIS mapping Studio. Urban SDK customers trust in and use our platform to build safer, more efficient, equitable, and sustainable infrastructure.

Learn more about how Urban SDK can help your organization make informed decisions using critical data. Contact our team here.

Related Posts

Learn More Today!

Contact our team to start using Urban SDK.
Sign up