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University of Connecticut College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Community Food Security


Executive Summary

Most residents in Connecticut have consistent, dependable access to enough food for active, healthy living. Yet each year there are households that experience limited access to food due to a lack of money or other resources. USDA's definition of household food security - access by all members at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life – is a complex measurement of food needs, choices, preferences, and options. Although it is extremely difficult to pinpoint each household that is struggling with food insecurity, a community-wide lens can help policy makers make smart decisions with broad impact on the food options residents enjoy and their ability to access food assistance if needed.

The 2012 Community Food Security in Connecticut: An Evaluation and Ranking of 169 Towns focuses on a town-level assessment of community food security in Connecticut. This study defines a community according to the geographic boundaries of the 169 towns in the state of Connecticut. We have developed three rankings of all 169 towns to inform and guide policy leaders and stakeholders that are interested in addressing hunger and food insecurity in their community. These include:

  • Population At-Risk Ranking – an evaluation of populations at-risk for food insecurity
  • Food Retail Ranking – an evaluation of retail food proximity and options
  • Food Assistance Ranking – an evaluation of how well towns are responding to needs

The rankings presented in this study are based on a statistical method of combining multiple variables into a single indicator. Each town ranking can be used to evaluate the need and performance relative to all other towns in Connecticut. Maps of the three rankings are displayed for an easier visual picture where each town can quickly compare its performance relative to other towns in the state. Finally, since the needs and resources of towns of different sizes can vary, we have created five categories of town size (based on population) and evaluated each of the three rankings for each town within its given cohort to aid readers in evaluating towns of a similar size. Appendix A of the report displays all of the rankings in alphabetical order by town name. Appendix B of the report displays all of the rankings based on the town size category for each town. Maps of the town size rankings are available on the website.

The study authors hope these results will be used to stimulate town-level discussion and considerations, and may even help prioritize further analysis and commitment to strategies that will strengthen community food security.



About This Site

Community Food Security,
Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy

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Community Food Security
Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy
1376 Storrs Rd, Unit 4021
Storrs, Ct 06269-4021

Phone: (860) 486-2836
Fax: (860) 486-1932