FREDERICKSBURG, VA – Hunger hits closer to home than you might think. In partnership with Virginia Community Food Connections (VCFC), Virginia-based environmental consultancy Marstel-Day engaged with dozens of food security partners to understand and map the scope of hunger in our region, where 11.2% of the population lacks access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food. The result is the George Washington Region Food Security Story Map, an interactive multi-media website created by Marstel-Day in support of efforts by VCFC and many partners to promote food security in the Fredericksburg region.
“This project facilitated numerous discussions about food security challenges and opportunities to support populations in need,” said Marstel-Day’s project manager Jason Winner.
Through engagement, the team discovered that numerous, beneficial partner-led efforts are occurring simultaneously, but often without a full understanding of how collective efforts can be shared and optimized. Partners expressed desire for more information about locations with the greatest needs, and in response, the team developed an innovative geographic analysis to characterize hunger gaps at the neighborhood level.
“These project results will provide a foundation to spotlight and support more meaningful discussions to address food insecurity, and ultimately advance the collective impact of food security efforts in the region” said Elizabeth Borst, Executive Director of VCFC, which funded and oversaw the initiative. VCFC strives to ensure the availability, access, and affordability of locally-produced food by connecting local farmers and all members of the community through programs, awareness, and advocacy.
Marstel-Day is a consistent advocate for both regional food and climate security and works in partnership with regional and national stakeholders on food, agriculture, climate, and other resiliency initiatives including a recent “Resilient Communities” initiative for the Inter-Mountain West. “This story map will continue to support increased dialogue about food security challenges, ongoing efforts, and future opportunities,” said Marstel-Day’s President and CEO, Rebecca R. Rubin.