FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – Residents in many Fairfield County towns are among the least likely to go hungry in the state, according to a recent study by the University of Connecticut.
The study ranked all of Connecticut’s 169 municipalities based on “food security,” a metric that gauges access to healthy food based on economic factors and availability. A town with higher food security is less likely to have hungry or malnourished families.
“Food security is access by all people at all times to enough nutritious food for an active, healthy life,” the U.S. Department of Agriculture says.
The study’s main measure of food security was its “At-Risk Ranking,” which used economic factors such as poverty rate, unemployment, income, education, age, vehicle ownership, and the presence of children in the household. A family living in a town with a better “At-Risk Ranking” is less likely to go hungry than one in a town with a worse rating.
The eight towns with the lowest risk of food insecurity were all in Fairfield County, according to the study. Weston ranked No. 1, followed by Darien, New Canaan, Wilton, Easton, Westport, Ridgefield and Redding. Greenwich had the highest ranking among Connecticut’s large towns (45,000 or more people), with Fairfield second in the same group.
Most of Fairfield County ranked in the top 25 percent in terms of food security. But three towns ranked in the bottom quarter (Bridgeport, Norwalk and Danbury) and three more had a higher-than-average risk of food insecurity (Stamford, Shelton and Stratford).
“The study authors hope these results will be used to stimulate town-level discussion and considerations, and may even help prioritize further analysis and commitment to strategies that will strengthen community food security,” authors Adam Rabinowitz and Jiff Martin wrote.
Here’s how towns covered by The Daily Voice ranked:
Darien: No. 2 overall; No. 1 among towns with 15,000-25,000 people
Danbury: No. 132 overall; No. 9 among towns with more than 45,000 people
Easton: No. 5 overall; No. 1 among towns with less than 7,500 people
Fairfield: No. 21 overall; No. 2 among towns with more than 45,000 people
Greenwich: No. 18 overall; No. 1 among towns with more than 45,000 people
New Canaan: No. 3 overall; No. 2 among towns with 15,000-25,000 people
Norwalk: No. 128 overall; No. 8 among towns with more than 45,000 people
Redding: No. 8 overall; No. 2 among towns with 7,500-15,000 people
Ridgefield: No. 7 overall; No. 4 among towns with 15,000-25,000 people
Stamford: No. 124 overall; No. 6 among towns with more than 45,000 people
Weston: No. 1 overall; No. 1 among towns with 7,500-15,000 people
Westport: No. 6 overall; No. 1 among towns with 25,000-45,000 people
Wilton: No. 4 overall; No. 3 among towns with 15,000-25,000 people
See the full study and more rankings here.