REMOTE SENSING AND GIS FOR FOOD BANKS
Keywords: Food Banks, Food waste, Remote Sensing, Geographic Information System (GIS), UAE
Abstract. Food banks play an important role in sustainability (saving food-reducing waste), economy, and social cohesion. Investment in food banks supports compassion, generosity, solidarity, and hospitality. The objective of this study is to demonstrate how remote sensing and geographic information system (GIS) could be used to address social and environmental problems such as food banks. In many cases data about socioeconomic is gathered using sample qualitative surveys/interviews and this lacks spatial reference. Moreover, even this data may not be available for researchers in the same way as in this study. Remote sensing was found as an effective tool and proxy to extract socioeconomic indicators such as size of building, distance between houses, streets width, and scarcity of trees/greenness (vegetative indicator). The indicators together with GIS multi-criteria and weighted overlay were used to find suitable food bank locations. The research aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals number 2, 11, and 12. Beneficiaries of this study may include charitable organizations, food producers/consumers (restaurants, hotels, individuals), and environmental departments (water, energy, waste). The methodology used in this study could be adopted by other researchers around the globe.