Dickinson College students completed the Cumberland County Food Assessment and online story map in 2018. The assessment identified workforce training as critically connected to food and poverty challenges in the county. If structural poverty and inequality concerns are not addressed in the county, food access will remain a persistent issue. While food pantries provide vital temporary solutions for residents without access to sufficient food, emerging initiatives in Cumberland County seek to address some of the root poverty challenges that ultimately limit people’s access to food and health. New Hope Ministries (New Hope), a social service agency based in the county, takes a multi-faceted approach to expand their food pantries (both permanent and mobile) to workforce training for in demand careers in the region.
On behalf of New Hope, Dickinson College’s Environment and Society class conducted research in 2019. New Hope asked students to explore the opportunities and barriers to accessing healthy food, transportation, and workforce training in Enola, which is an area West of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. New Hope currently operates a well-attended monthly mobile food pantry in Enola. Pending the availability of funding, New Hope is considering a permanent food pantry and workforce training site in Enola. New Hope asked the students to interview their mobile food pantry guests. The goal was to assess the need for the food pantry and workforce training center in Enola, and to identify convenient locations for the potential center. This report attempts to contextualize linkages across food, workforce training, and transportation, with a specific emphasis on the needs of Enola and the broader region. Click here to download: EXPLORING INTERSECTIONS: FOOD ACCESS, WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT, AND TRANSPORTATION