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WIth 31% of Alexandrians food insecure, city wants feedback on free food availability

Bags of food from ALIVE! were given to Arlandria residents on May 21, 2020 (staff photo by James Cullum)

With food insecurity in more than 30% of Alexandria households, the city wants feedback on food access for its residents.

In a new survey, the city’s Department of Community and Human Services is working with a consulting firm to get the latest on food access for residents. The effort is part of an effort to develop a citywide food security strategic plan.

From food pantries and distributions across the city to delivering food to senior citizens, Alexandria offers a number of opportunities to get free food.

According to DCHS:

Despite Alexandria’s reputation as an affluent community, there are many households in Alexandria struggling with food security. Recently, the Capital Area Food Bank’s 2022 Hunger Report estimated the prevalence of food insecurity in Alexandria as high as 31%. This rate was measured with a six-item short form of the USDA survey module conducted February-March 2022 with 3,769 adults aged 18 and older in the DC Metro Area. While this survey does not have the same breadth as the USDA survey or Map the Meal Gap, it makes clear that many households that may not be officially labeled as food insecure by government measures are still struggling to afford adequate food.

The online survey takes a few minutes to complete, and the city says it wants 300 completed surveys by the end of the month. It asks questions about a participant’s access to balanced and healthy food, and after completing it participants may be asked to be part of a paid focus group to tell the city about getting free groceries and meals.

Survey participants can also pick up a $5 Safeway gift card with proof that they completed the survey at the following locations:

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