home May 2020 GIS We Can!  Geographers Help Combat Food Insecurity

GIS We Can!  Geographers Help Combat Food Insecurity

Geography Department faculty, students and alumni are lending their hands and considerable mapping skills in an effort to combat food insecurity in the region.

Socially-distanced geographers take a brief rest from their work packing and delivering meals at the Kingston YMCA to strike a post. Pictured (left to right): Geography senior Elizabeth Winn and department alumni Greg Krupp ’19 and Susan Hereth ‘03.

Susan Hereth ’03, who serves as an adjunct professor and internship coordinator for the department, and alumnus Greg Krupp ’19 have been working with the Kingston Emergency Food Collaborative to provide approximately 1,000 meals daily for adults and children within the Kingston School District during the pandemic crisis.

Krupp is utilizing his knowledge of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to map out efficient delivery zones and overall demand for the service within the coverage area.

Gregg Krupp used his GIS expertise to create a “heat map” of demand for meals through the Kingston Emergency Food Collaborative.

Alumna Emma Clements ’18 and senior Elizabeth Winn have also contributed by packing and delivering meals from the Kingston YMCA distribution location.

The Kingston Emergency Food Collaborative delivers meals and groceries in collaboration with the YMCA, Kingston School District, People’s Place, Project Resilience and other community partners, and takes requests through an emergency food hotline.

In an email to her Geography Department colleagues about volunteer efforts on behalf of the collaborative, Hereth wrote: “Food justice/food security apparently attracts geographers.”

Last month, the campus shared news of another effort by Geography Department Assistant Professor Melissa Yang Rock to address local food insecurity. Rock used data gathered from Ulster County’s government and school district websites to map food resources in Ulster County to aid those impacted by school and business closures and layoffs.

Watch Hereth discuss her work with the Kingston Emergency Food Collaborative in this May 8 interview with the Daily Freeman.