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Cincinnati Children's Recruited to Address Childhood Hunger Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

April 29, 2020

City joins partners to create a scalable platform to map local hunger CINCINNATI – The City of Cincinnati, data powerhouse 84.51° and Cincinnati Children’s are using their expertise to make it easier for the area’s most impoverished children to access walkable food donation sites.

Leveraging the data science expertise of 84.51°, these organizations are identifying where children throughout Cincinnati are most in need of food during the pandemic. A map, created by 84.51°, showing food distribution locations, can be viewed here: https://cincinnati-coronavirus-covid-8451.hub.arcgis.com.

“We know this pandemic means that thousands of people are hurting economically, and sometimes literally going hungry," said Mayor John Cranley. "It is true that more people in our city are utilizing food bank services at a higher rate than ever before. By helping families and food providers locate spaces to distribute and gather food, we make it easier to feed the hungry in our city. "

As part of The Kroger Co.’s Zero Hunger/Zero Waste Initiative, 84.51° harvested valuable information about food insecurity among Cincinnati’s most disadvantaged children and where the greatest needs exist. Using data science and predictive analytics, the 84.51° team uncovered gaps in accessibility of food distribution and created actionable plans for broader coverage and availability. For example, the company provided a ranking of distribution locations based on Spanish-speaking penetration. These sites will be prioritized for translators and multi-lingual literature that convey safety precautions for COVID-19.

The analytic maps used to generate these insights are now available online for public consumption. The website, also created for the City by 84.51°, is designed to help individuals locate food assistance centers within a 1-mile radius of their residences. The map also provides valuable information to food distribution agencies and helps them better understand where the need is the greatest. A demonstration of the website can be viewed below.

Data used for this initiative is being supplied by the City of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children’s.

The City of Cincinnati, 84.51° and Cincinnati Children’s are committed to working with various organizations and service providers to support our region’s residents and businesses throughout this public health crisis.

Contributor Quotes Councilmember Greg Landsman

“The human capacity to serve is powerful, and it’s been on full display during this crisis. Our partners needed a way to bring everything they’re doing together, in a single place, to better provide food and fill service area gaps,” added Councilmember Greg Landsman, whose office helped coordinate this project. “Folks at 84.51° immediately stepped up to provide that platform, and they continue to work to help us find gaps and fill them. Their platform can also now be used by residents to find resources closest to them. It’s been amazing.”

Cincinnati Children’s

“At Cincinnati Children’s, our vision is to help ensure every child in Cincinnati is thriving,” said Robert Kahn, MD, MPH, lead for Community Health at Cincinnati Children’s. “With COVID-19, we became increasingly concerned about the rising rates of childhood hunger and food insecurity, which we know has a direct impact on child health. By collaborating with the City and 84.51°, we now know more precisely where vulnerable children live and how to get better every day at helping them.”

84.51°

"We, like so many others, want to help our community during this unusual time in our history. I could not be more proud of our 84.51° family,” said Stuart Aitken, Chief Executive Officer for 84.51°. “Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste initiative to end hunger and eliminate waste is at the forefront of everything we do. By using our unique data science and website development capabilities coupled with data provided by the City of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children’s, we have been able to identify pockets of need and possible scenarios to address. We’re excited to be working alongside Cincinnati Children’s, the City and so many other amazing agencies in our region to meet this need. And we hope other metropolitan areas are inspired to implement similar programs to support their communities."

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