Oakland County maintains a high standard of living, but food insecurity exists throughout pockets of the county. For Oakland County to maintain and further strengthen its economic prosperity, community health, and workforce, it must reconsider its approach to meeting its communities' basic needs.
In March of 2021, the American Rescue Plan (ARP) was signed into law, distributing money to states and counties to address urgent COVID-19 response efforts and the systemic public health effects that have contributed to the unequal impact of the pandemic. The students were tasked with identifying the current food insecurity landscape in Oakland County and provide key recommendations for county stakeholders to consider. The key findings suggest that Oakland County residents have been grappling with food insecurity despite strong efforts by food pantries, schools, and other current interventions to mitigate food insecurity.
After assessing the available data, the team recommended three action steps:
- Oakland County should develop an equitable data collection framework that is responsive to different community needs.
- Oakland County should explore innovative ways to increase their internal capacity and strengthen outreach efforts regarding services available to its residents.
- Oakland County should engage in policy solutions and/or best practices to increase access to programs for communities in need.