Community Close-Up Data Analysis
Community Close-Up is an aptly named data analysis tool a community can use to determine how many meals its hungriest residents are missing and in which census tracts they reside. Demographic information provided for each census tract helps suggest and inform strategies for closing the meal gap at the community level.
Community Close-Up provides a unique viewpoint because both demand and supply for meals for the food insecure are considered.
Community Close-Up data analysis is no substitute for local knowledge. However, it can provide excellent insight about how and where to target efforts, and a vehicle to foster collaboration across hunger-fighting organizations. A food shelf, meal program, food bank or any other community service provider can use Community Close-Up analysis to:
It’s important to remember when using Community Close-Up:
Here is an example of how Community Close-Up data analysis is applied at the census-tract level for Rice County. Rice County is composed of 13 census tracts. Nine of them are classified as Non-Metro Urban: five comprising Northfield (I – M) and four comprising Faribault (A – D). The four other census tracts (E, F, G and H) are classified as Rural.
Looking at Faribault in more detail, it is possible, using Community Close-Up data analysis to estimate the food insecurity rate (the percentage and number of people who do not know where their next meal is coming from) in each census tract and from there, to estimate the number of missing meals in the census tracts comprising Faribault.
Equally helpful is demographic and economic information available for each census tract. Understanding the composition of the population can help in pinpointing precise strategies that will alleviate hunger issues.
What’s the point?
Armed with this data and invaluable local, situational knowledge, food shelves, food banks, meal programs and other community hunger resources can come together to determine the best ways to close their missing meal gaps.