A Healthier Understanding
Date: June 5, 2017
More than 850,000 people in North Texas are not sure where they will get their next meal. Thanks to the support CitySquare receives from friends like you, more and more of those families are getting help at the Food Pantry. During the past few months, CitySquare has been raising money to install industrial-grade shelving in the warehouse at the Food Pantry. When complete, the shelves will allow us to store more food and help more families escape food insecurity.
But we can do more than just hand out food. That’s why in 2017, for the first time, CitySquare has been gathering information through surveys and focus groups with neighbors about how the food they receive impacts their lives. The early results show that, in addition to easing food insecurity, 89 percent of neighbors feel they are getting proper and sufficient nutrition when they come to the Food Pantry. Ninety-six percent say they’re able to use the money they save on food toward other parts of their budget such as paying bills and purchasing clothing for their children.
“Very few food pantries look for results beyond the quantity of food they’ve distributed,” says Wendy Abel, Outcomes Manager for CitySquare. That number can be useful. But reaching a deeper understanding of our impact on things like nutrition and healthy eating habits will help us strengthen that impact.
The research is still in its early stages but, as it expands, CitySquare plans to use the insights to improve what is already a massively successful engine for food security in Dallas. “The healthier our understanding of hunger is, the healthier our community will be,” says Abel.
Want to help with CitySquare’s Food Pantry shelving project? Click here to donate.