10,000 random households received a package in the mail that included a  USDA survey to help identify areas of need.  Distributed evenly to each zip code location within the county, the survey is now being analyzed.

In 2011, 14.9% of households were food insecure at least some time during the year, including 5.7% with very low food security.

Marywood University’s Hunger-Free Communities grant program, sponsored by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), administer of the nutrition assistance programs of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), was one of only fourteen awarded grants that will research and assess hunger and food insecurity within Lackawanna County.  

hunger free communitiesJoanne Christaldi Ph.D. R.D. L.D.N., Principle Investigator along with co-investigators Lee Harrison Ph.D., R.D., F.A.D.A., C.N.S.D., C.M.F.C. and Gerald S.  Zavorsky, Ph.D. work closely with advisory member Peg Kopko, Vice President, United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties, community partner representatives, and Marywood University Nutrition and Dietetic graduate students to help better recognize and overcome food insecurity within Lackawanna County.  Home surveys, focus groups, and food store analysis, will provide the research and data needed to help recognize and work toward eliminating food insecurity within the county.  The program will also serve as an educational resource and model for other communities.

Food Programs in Lackawanna County NEPA Hunger Summit 2012
Hunger Bites
The Wood Word

Focus Groups

Working with Sr. Ann Walsh, Director, Friends of the Poor, and Sandra Roberts, Vice President, Bread Basket of NEPA, the committee members and student volunteers assembled and conducted focus groups to help better understand and identify food insecurity within Lackawanna County.  Both organizations work closely with those often directly affected by food insecurity matters.