Producing Produce Research

Cans are organized at a food bankMaster of Public Administration student Anna Naples received the prestigious Impact Award from The Graduate School at UNC-Chapel Hill. The awards recognize significant graduate student research and contributions to the state in areas of education, economic, physical, social or cultural well-being.

Naples was able to use her personal interest in food insecurity and produce access to guide her research project as part of the MPA program.

In partnership with the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina, Naples focused on the equitable distribution of produce for households under the poverty line.

Naples used ArcGIS to create a map of food distribution data. She mapped 1,200 pantries across the Food Bank’s 34-county service area, including the amount of produce distributed over six months, urban versus rural distributions, the number of people below the poverty line served, and the amount of produce distributed per person.

Through her research, Naples collected data and created a valuable tool the Food Bank will use to guide future programming.

“UNC MPA students can be a valuable asset for engaged research,” said School of Government faculty member Maureen Berner. “They are gaining the analytical skills to do research and learning about leadership, organizations and community needs.”

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