Addressing Food Insecurity by Optimizing Partner Agency Operating Hours

Abstract: Food banks work to address the problem of food insecurity for low-income and underrepresented populations. The food bank acquires food and distributes it to their partner agencies, who, in ton, distribute the food to their clients. In previous work, we performed a service gap analysis by mapping the location of clients relative to the food bank’s partner agencies. We identified service gaps which the food bank addressed by adding additional mobile food pantries in high-need, low-resourced areas. We extend that work by developing an optimization model to maximize the number of unique time windows where clients can access food. In this paper, we present the model formulation and demonstrate its usefulness through a small test case.

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