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Mapping tool helps LA County residents find food resources

June 11, 2020  - By
Screenshot: FoodFinder

Screenshot: FoodFinder

The non-profit 211 LA County and Slingshot Aerospace have unveiled an online mapping tool that allows users to quickly identify and locate more than 2,000 food resources within the county during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

211 LA County is a non-profit organization providing the official information and referral source for health and human services in LA County. Slingshot Aerospace is a situational intelligence platform company,

The customized tool, called 211 LA FoodFinder, is powered by Slingshot Earth and is the biggest and only food map that allows LA residents to search for resources by location and view services specific to seniors, children and others, enabling individuals to find aid near them faster. Resources within the FoodFinder are free, with the exception of those with suggested donations or delivery service fees.

LA County residents will be able to identify different types of available food resources, such as child nutrition, meal services, groceries/food pantries, senior food needs and government food benefits programs.

The platform also provides location details, hours of operation and contact information for each of the services. 211 LA County is currently experiencing a tenfold increase in website traffic related to food resources compared to pre-COVID timeframes.

The organization anticipates the robust application to service nearly 30,000 LA County constituents over the next quarter, many of which may not have prior experience with food assistance.

“Food resources are the biggest need people are contacting us about since the COVID-19 pandemic hit LA County,” said Maribel Marin, executive director, 211 LA County. “With so many people out of work, the need for food is going to get progressively more intense, but people shouldn’t worry because there are lots of resources and ways to access them. Our custom Slingshot Earth food locator provides our community with a one-stop-shop for food resource information, helping to provide peace of mind to those who need food assistance during this unprecedented time.”

211 LA County’s customized Slingshot Earth mapping tool aggregates food resources and service data from multiple public and private sources so that individuals have the right information, at the right time, all in one place. The data is verified and updated regularly to ensure that Los Angeles County residents have the most up to date information as guidelines and offerings continue to evolve.

“This work to help 211 LA County provide critical food service information in our community is so meaningful to us because we are driven by a vision to create a safer, more sustainable world,” said Mel Stricklan, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Slingshot Aerospace. “Our business was founded on the idea that information is power, especially in complex situations. The COVID-19 pandemic is uncharted territory for all of us, and we are happy to do our small part in navigating these tough times by providing essential information to those who need it most.”