City-Wide Survey to Guide Food Action in Trenton

NJHI 2018: Upstream Action Acceleration Accelerating Action for a Healthy Trenton

Trenton Health Team (THT), in partnership with Rider University and in collaboration with the Trenton Food Stakeholders, has created the Trenton Food Needs Survey to better understand residents’ need for, and use of, free food resources such as food pantries and grab-n-go meals.

Data from the survey help the Trenton Food Stakeholders improve the availability of free food resources in the community.  

The Trenton Food Needs Survey encompasses three research domains to help answer key questions: For Trenton residents, 1) are free food resources sufficient; 2) are resources accessible, and 3) are residents aware these resources exist? 

The survey was made widely available via social media, email, and text in late 2020. In addition, THT is working with community partners actively engaged in fighting food insecurity to distribute hard copy versions of the survey across the city to those without internet access.

To make sure that findings from the survey adequately represent the entire city, THT has organized Trenton’s 24 Census tracts into seven clusters based on key indicators related to food insecurity. We will monitor the response rate in each cluster to make sure each is represented and to help guide survey outreach efforts.

The Trenton Health Team convened the Trenton Food Stakeholders group in February 2019 to improve food access and nutrition across the city. The group, including more than 35 local agencies, has been confronting an increased need for food prompted by the health and economic crisis related to COVID-19.  Embracing the goals of our Upstream Action Acceleration grant, THT believes the results of our Food Survey will help ensure we respond efficiently and effectively to this expanded need, and will guide food policy into the future.

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Matthew Broad
Trenton Health Team