About Feeding America Data Commons

Why Data Commons

The NIH recently reported that America's most food insecure populations also tend to have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. You wonder how long it might take to identify counties suffering from both high food insecurity and high prevalence of heart disease? Turns out, it could be a while. While Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap provides high quality data on food insecure counties in the US, information on the prevalence of heart disease is harder to find. You Search and it points you to the CDC. After much digging around, you find the data and then spend a while downloading, cleaning and joining it with Feeding America's information on food insecurity. You may have given up well before you could answer the question.

Feeding America Data Commons is here to help! It is an evolving collaboration between Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap Research Study and Data Commons, the world's largest data knowledge graph, aiming to help everyone, whoever you are - journalist, citizen scientist, student, researcher - to explore food security in the United States and its relationship to climate data and health indicators through scatter plots, timelines, and maps.

The Feeding America Map the Meal Gap annual study aims to understand food insecurity and food costs at the local level in the United States. Data Commons is a free and public resource with over 3 billion time-series, across 90,000 variables from 100+ sources about demographics, health, climate, crops, emissions and much more. This site makes available, in a unified format, Map the Meal Gap data merged with public data from Data Commons.

Oh, and the answer to your question above? It takes a mere minute to show all counties in the US with the prevalence of heart disease and rates of food insecurity (see the chart).

Who can use it?

Data Commons can be accessed by anyone via the tools available on datacommons.feedingamerica.org.


Data Commons has benefited greatly from many collaborations. In addition to help from US Department of Commerce (notably the Census Bureau), we have received help from our many academic collaborations, including, UC San Francisco, Stanford University, UC Berkeley and Harvard.

We are looking for more collaborators, both for adding new data to Feeding America Data Commons and for building new and interesting applications of Data Commons. Contact us if you are interested in working with us.

For more information about Data Commons, please visit this page.