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June 18, 2015

D.C. Food Bank Pioneers Data-Mapping to Find Areas of Need

Using the kind of technology that has revolutionized advertising and politics, the Capital Area Food Bank, in Washington, D.C. has found some unexpectedly high rates of hunger in the suburbs, says The Washington Post.

At first, the data mapping showed that the areas with the greatest hunger were those already being served, in poor parts of the District and just across the Maryland border. But further study revealed other places in the suburbs that had an unexpectedly high need, including Reston, Va., an upscale area that turned out to have a need for more than 150,000 pounds of food a year.

These maps "now guide every decision the region’s largest food bank makes, whether it’s where to target ­resources or with whom to build partnerships," said Nancy Roman, the food bank's chief executive. They hope the technology can be used in areas across the country.