In its ongoing effort to aid in the growing food insecurity crisis, tech giant Google has announced that it has launched a new tool to circumvent just that.
According to The Verge, the “Find Food Support” site — powered by Maps — will allow users to find food banks and donation centers within a given parameter designated by the user. The outlet also reports that the tech giant is working with non-profit organizations, like No Kid Hungry & Food Finder, to further aid in their efforts.
Google, too, is working in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture to provide an aggregate of more than 90,000 locations of food aid across the United States, and they promise that there will be “more to come.”
A recent report by the National Institute of Health reveals the racial and socioeconomic nature of food insecurity. Prior to the pandemic, the national level of food insecurity was 11.1 percent. However, in households led by Black or Latinx people, the level of food insecurity was 21.2 percent and 16.2 percent, respectively. The report further suggested that other social factors, such as racial discrimination, play a role in food insecurity. Post-pandemic, those numbers jumped significantly, with as many as 1 in 7 Americans (including 15 million children) reporting that they experienced some form of food insecurity, and searches for such public assistance programs as SNAP, food stamps, and free school lunch pick-ups jumped to record highs as COVID-19 claimed more lives.
While it wasn’t clear what Google was doing to circumvent the role that racial discrimination plays in their new tool, what is clear is that this tool is the first of many programs launched by their Food for Good team (formerly known as the Project Delta team). Their mission is to “create a smarter food system,” which includes standardizing data to improve communication between food distributors to curb food waste.