The city of Newark, New Jersey is using interactive dashboards to connect local charities with car dealerships for food pickups and drop-offs to help address the recent COVID-19 related increase in food insecurity.
The city has partnered with the nonprofit called the Do Good Auto Coalition (DGAC) to track which neighborhoods receive the most food deliveries per month, which neighborhoods have requested the most assistance, and which charities are donating to certain neighborhoods. The information will be updated weekly using an online dashboard which is currently only visible to Newark officials and charities.
The DGAC is made up of auto dealers who have volunteered to deliver supplies, food, and other items to needy seniors, first responders and others in their communities.
“Most of the dealers I know are already heavily involved with their communities,” said Constellation agency co-founder and CEO Diana Lee. “Amid the COVID-19 shutdown, they see greater needs, and want to do more. So together we formed the Do-Good Auto Coalition.”
Charities that participate in the program can fill out a form every week to share where their donations went and how many meals or other resources have been donated each month. The goal is to give Newark officials a better understanding of where to allocate government aid and to create more transparency around charitable action.
“Since the charities don’t communicate with each other it is difficult to know if the areas with the most need are being addressed or if there are duplicated efforts to the same recipients,” they explained. “This dashboard will show these discrepancies and identify the areas of greatest need in real time.”