Food insecurity in Greenville County

Canned goods like soup are needed for the “Thankful Thursday” food drive | Photo via Unsplash

Canned goods like soup are needed for the “Thankful Thursday” food drive | Photo via Unsplash

DYK that in 2019, 10.5% of households in the US were experiencing food insecurity? And that was before COVID-19 hit. The pandemic has potentially doubled food insecurity for families across the country.

How does food insecurity affect us locally? To get a better picture of the way this issue affects our community, Furman University’s Shi Institute for Sustainable Communities, Furman’s Institute for the Advancement of Community Health + LiveWell Greenville have all partnered to create an interactive map to show the parts of Greenville County that are most at risk of food insecurity. If you need a little help figuring out how to work the map, there’s a tutorial for that.

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Interactive map of Greenville County’s census tracts | Image from Greenville County Food Insecurity Index

The map uses census data to determine which census tracts in Greenville County are the most likely to suffer from food insecurity based on five risk factors:

Number of single parent families

Number of households with no vehicle available

Number of individuals over the age of 25 with less than a high school diploma

Number of individuals with incomes of less than $25,000/year who moved within the last year

Median income

The idea behind the interactive map is to help determine which areas in Greenville have the greatest need for food resources, so that the appropriate community organizations can provide assistance. According to the map, the top five tracts which are the most food insecure are Nicholtown, Mauldin, City View, Gantt, and Conesteein that order. See the remainder of the list here.

Interested in helping combat food insecurity in the Upstate? Right now, you can “Stuff a Stocking” of non-perishable food items to drop off at Harvest Hope Food Bank or any of their partner locations. You can also donate food or consider volunteering your time to help out at a local food bank any time of year.

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