Open Data Power: Securing Healthy Food for All

November 30, 2015 7:00 am PST | Data as a Service

In this series, we explore the ways that open data transforms the world. Sound extreme? Putting data behind seemingly intractable problems is the best way to tackle them, whether it’s providing access to healthy food, managing the planet’s natural resource, or combating disease.

People who live far from a well-stocked grocery store feel the daily struggle of trying to make meals out of convenience stores’ typical choices. The Food Trust illuminates the problem in their report “The Grocery Gap,” detailing how “in hundreds of neighborhoods across the country, nutritious, affordable, and high-quality food is out of reach — particularly low-income areas, communities of color, and rural areas.”

The Healthy Corner Stores Network (HCSN) wants to change all that. A partnership of over 600 member organizations, HCSN unites suppliers, communities, nonprofits, governments, and small businesses to get fresh, wholesome food into every neighborhood and on everyone’s kitchen table. They provide training, logistical coordination, and advocacy, to meet their goal of providing “healthy, affordable foods through small-scale stores” in underserved neighborhoods.

Another key component is to get the word out about where citizens can find healthy groceries  — queue up open data. Leveraging its OpenDataPhilly portal, Philadelphia has posted its data on the city’s Healthy Corner Store locations in multiple open, accessible formats. Local nonprofits, civic tech innovators, and anyone interested can explore and use the location data to promote the program and improve food security citywide.


Find out why governments of all sizes are unlocking their data and using Socrata’s solutions to achieve their top initiatives. Schedule a demo today.

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