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Addressing the Need and Identifying the Root Causes of the Intersection of Food and Transportation Insecurity: The City of Detroit Food Delivery Program (Re)Design

The COVID-19 pandemic is creating conditions in Detroit and across the country that have led to novel cases of need at the intersection of food and transportation insecurity. In response, the City of Detroit’s Parks & Recreation Division and Innovation Team, in partnership with Gleaners, United Way of Southeastern Michigan, Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency, Detroit Health Department, University of Michigan, Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries, and other community stakeholders, created and expanded the COVID-19 Food Delivery Program. Although the program found initial success, it was only able to serve a fraction of the Detroiters experiencing food insecurity and lack of access to adequate transportation. More than 30,000 Detroiters likely meet the existing program’s criteria, and this project will examine a more comprehensive and sustainable solution.

Researchers will support the COVID-19 Food Delivery Program’s maintenance and the (re)design, implementation, and program evaluation of the (re)design. Our efforts will be guided by sustainability recommendations that we are currently developing. The project will recommend both policy and direct service approaches to best meet the need and address the root causes of this intersection during and after the pandemic.

Robert Hampshire, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy