New digital tools increase access to food with easy-to-use features
Urbana, Illinois – Eastern Illinois Foodbank (EIF) announced today the launch of Vivery, an innovative platform and digital Find Food map helping neighbors experiencing food insecurity connect with vital food resources in their community and surrounding areas. The new mobile-friendly map increases access to the fresh and nutritious food neighbors need to thrive.
EIF works with a network of nearly 170 food pantries and feeding programs to provide meals to neighbors across 18 counties in east-central Illinois. With the help of volunteers and donors, EIF distributed 6.5 million meals through their partner agencies last year.
The Vivery platform, developed by the Thierer Family Foundation, helps food banks and food pantries remove obstacles preventing neighbors from finding food. Digital features include an interactive Find Food map with a searchable directory of food distribution sites with up-to-date schedules, times, directions, and programs. The EIF website allows for users to easily change the language so neighbors can access the food they need in the language they speak. Users can also search by zip code, an address, or even filter for specific dietary needs to ensure they find the right food at the right time and place.
“This Vivery map is a huge step in helping us achieve our goal of reaching as many neighbors as possible throughout eastern Illinois who are facing food insecurity,” said Kelly Daly, Eastern Illinois Foodbank President & CEO. “It’s mobile-friendly and intuitive to use, making it easier than ever for members of our communities to find assistance that’s convenient to their location and schedule.”
Vivery is working with every food bank in Illinois to include their programs, with the intent of removing coverage borders from the Find Food map. As a result, neighbors near the border of surrounding counties will see the Eastern Illinois Foodbank agencies, and also agencies outside of the EIF network, in the same map. This project was made possible by the Thierer Family Foundation in partnership with Eastern Illinois Foodbank to ensure people across eastern Illinois could have equal access to food. The foundation strategically funds innovative technology projects, including Vivery, to modernize access to food and significantly change the way an organization can serve their target audience.
Eastern Illinois Foodbank (EIF) works to alleviate hunger in eastern Illinois as the primary food source to a network of 170 food pantries, agencies, and other programs throughout our 18-county service area. Through these agencies, the Foodbank provides meals to more than 1 million people each year. Since 1983, EIF has led the fight against hunger and strengthened communities by providing food access, emergency relief, education, and advocacy to families in east-central Illinois. EIF is a member of Feeding America, Feeding Illinois, the United Way of Coles County, and the United Way of Champaign County. For more information, visit eifoodbank.org.