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Louisiana Youth Aim to Provide Solutions to Food Insecurity Issues

LA 4-H Tech Club

Members of the LA 4-H Tech Club.

Where's the Food Project

The "Where's The Food?" survey will help source food and solve food insecurity.

GIS Industry-Based Certification Program

GGI offers the only GIS Industry-Based Certification Program

Nationwide the 4-H members are offering opportunities for students to tackle real food problems in their communities, including food insecurity.

GGI provides students with opportunities to learn about GIS Technology and solve real world problems.

The National 4-H Geospatial Leadership team presents “Where’s the Food?” at National Youth Healthy Living Summit

The "Where's the Food?" Survey features maps that visualize community problems and solutions to improve health, nutrition, and safety in the areas where they live.”
— Katherine Winchester, LA 4-H Tech Club Team Lead
BATON ROUGE, LA, UNITED STATES , February 26, 2021 / -- As part of the National 4-H GIS Leadership Team, the LA 4-H Tech Club presented its project, "Where's the Food?," at the National Youth Summit on Healthy Living, from February 12 - 15. The National 4-H Youth Summit Series (held virtually in 2021) brings together high school students for three days of hands-on activities and workshops led by leaders and educators in these fields. Designed for grades 9 through 12, the summit provides the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills to address today’s issues facing nutrition education, physical fitness, wellness and emotional well-being.

The National 4-H Geospatial Leadership team, made up of youth who provide leadership by adopting new geospatial innovations such as GIS, GPS, and remote sensing to local needs, adopted "Where's the Food?" as their national team project. Youth Delegates from Louisiana (LA), North Caroline (NC), New York (NY), and Tennessee (TN) are working to define the problem and identify solutions.

Millions of youth and families are going to bed hungry every night due to the Covid-19 health emergency. In response, 4-H Action Teams are emerging to help by tackling "Food Insecurity" in their communities. Youth teams in Louisiana, North Carolina, New York, and Tennessee rallied to take action in their communities. Helping people find healthy food in their area became their priority. Their movement travels under the flag, "Where's the Food?"

Katherine Winchester, the project lead member of the 4-H Tech Club in Louisiana, described the team's 2021 entry at the summit. “The Where's the Food Survey features maps that visualize community problems and solutions to improve health, nutrition, and safety in the areas where they live," she said. “The application was used to help us better visualize the local, 'food access' problems facing students, families, communities, producers, processors, distributors, and consumers. We help youth, and their families understand the needs and alternatives to community problems (substance abuse, obesity, and food access)." To view nationwide data, visit the ArcGIS Dashboard or

To create the maps, team members Katherine Winchester, Susanna Shields, Izzy Gruner (St. Joseph Academy), Jane Zaruba (Home Schooled) and Vibriyogn Epuri (Southeastern University of Louisiana) utilized data from SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs) to show food locations with hotspots for Food Stamps/EBT Cards and a census tract that revealed both low-income and low-access criteria. Winchester, a sophomore student at the Saint Joseph’s Academy, said the project's goal was to make and share available maps with the community to help people find healthy food, especially during the Covid-19 health emergency and beyond. School closings, transportation limitations, and food providers were disrupted by the Covid-19 health emergency, especially in low-income and remote rural areas.

To advance their goals, youth interviewed local health and public safety officials in their community to identify critical problems and how youth might help. During the LA 4-H Tech Club Team’s interview with Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome of the City of Baton Rouge, the need for a food security plan was discussed. Mayor-President Broome invited the club members for a follow up interview to continue discussion on this important and pressing topic.

Anyone interested in answering the critical question, "Where's the Food?" can find the answer through mapping tools that the students developed. Individuals can access these maps with their handheld electronic devices and desktop computers.

To learn more about this fantastic youth work or for students wishing to join the club, contact: Vibriyogn Epuri, founding member of the Louisiana 4-H Tech Club, at la4htechclub@ or call Global Geospatial Institute 225-939-1091. GGI, under the direction of Fran Harvey, GISP, sponsors the Louisiana 4-H Tech Club on the state and national level. For more information, visit

About 4-H and Global Geospatial Institute (GGI)

4-H is a community of America's youth who learn leadership, citizenship, and life skills through non-formal, research-based experimental education activities. The Louisiana 4-H, Youth Development Program, offers youth opportunities to interact with science, engineering, and technology through hands-on demonstrations, problem-solving, personal in-depth projects, and career exploration. In partnership with LSU Ag Center 4-H and GGI offers education sessions to increase awareness about GIS, flying drones, and more.

Fran Harvey
Global Geospatial Institute
+1 225-939-1091
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LA 4-H Tech Club works with GIS and Global Geospatial Institute to discover, plan and provide solutions to world problems.