July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Community Engagement Division
Food banks and other food distribution agencies face challenges beyond preparing the required nutrition and supportive education for the food insecure members of the community. Some of these challenges involve connecting with and retaining the relationships with the people who are in need. In the current situation, people needing food assistance must have necessary time, energy and knowledge to “know where to go and when”, with the constantly changing landscape of providers and the available resources. Food insecurity is influenced by a number of factors including income, employment, race/ethnicity, and disability. Urban/rural areas with limited access to full-service supermarkets or grocery stores also affect physical access to food. Residents are at risk for food insecurity in neighborhoods with limited transportation options and thus spending longer travel time . Furthermore, low income communities are more likely to move from one place to another as they strive to find affordable housing. These factors make access to food and other basic needs such as housing, medical care etc. hard for the community members. They also make it challenging for the supply chain managers to collect data to design more client-oriented solutions and services. As food banks typically distribute goods through partners such as pantries and kitchens, they are one step removed from clients causing some delay in assessing, communicating, and responding to need in a timely manner. Given the importance of access to food and water and the challenges inherent in the system, there is a pressing need to develop an engaged supply chain for emergency food distribution that is technically feasible, economically viable, and desirable to the community. Based on information collected from community members and community development and food distribution organizations, we identify potential challenges with community engagement that the agencies faciliatitbg food distribution are facing. The results of this study will help us in designing a more comprehensive food distribution supply chain with having a broader knowledge of behavioral/societal and economical problems of the engaged community.
Abbasian, P., & Natarajarathinam, M., & Gatson, S. N. (2021, July), Engagement in Practice: Community Engagement Challenges for Food Supply-chain Engineering Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://strategy.asee.org/37036
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