Washington, DC – A new website, developed by the American Institutes for Research (AIR), will help Washington, D.C. students and their families locate free meals and healthy food over the summer.
About 80 percent of Washington, D.C.’s more than 92,000 public school students are eligible for free and reduced-price meals during the school year. When school is out during the summer, these meals are not available to students, but the DC Free Summer Meals program offers no-cost food to students at locations throughout the city. However, DC Public Schools officials said families often had a hard time finding the meal locations.
As part of its Socially Responsible Analytics Initiative, AIR worked with the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) to build a website that makes it easier for students and families to find free meals and access to food throughout the summer.
This project draws on AIR’s expertise in data visualization and how it can be applied to large-scale social issues. The mobile-friendly website allows students and their families to simply enter their address and quickly find nearby locations for the Free Summer Meals Programs. It also provides the location and detailed information about other free meal opportunities, food pantries, grocery stores, farmers markets, and corner stores with healthy food.
“Our mission is to use research and evidence to improve people’s lives, both globally and locally,” said David Myers, CEO and president of AIR. “As an organization headquartered in Washington, DC, we are pleased we can use our capabilities to help our neighbors in the nation’s capital.”
Information for the website came from DCPS, DC Greens, DC Central Kitchen, and the websites of other organizations, such as the DC Food Policy Council and the Capital Area Food Bank.
To view the website visit http://www.dcsummerfoods.org/.
Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of education, health, and the workforce. For more information, visit www.air.org.