Completed Research

Jalisco, Mexico: Addressing Food Insecurity

University of Toronto

Over 15,000 families in Jalisco, Mexico, experience food insecurity. The Guadalajara Food Bank provides these people, spread across 252 communities, with food aid. The Food Bank is currently focused on three aspects of their operations: sustainable procurement of high quality and healthy food items, waste reduction and reaching all families experiencing food insecurity.

The Hard to Reach

Families experiencing food insecurity in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Key Takeaways

The areas assessed by the research team looked into barriers of success in the areas of procurement, waste reduction and data measurement and evaluation.

  1. Throughout the procurement process, the Guadalajara Food Bank needs to balance supply and demand of food donations as well as the nutritional quality and shelf life of food donations, infrastructure limitations for storing or processing certain food types, and human resources required to process food donations.
  2. In an effort to meet the demand of high-quality food aid, there are efforts to reduce waste throughout the supply chain: waste in farm fields, waste in transport and waste while at the food bank facility.
  3. Better data collection and tracking could allow the food bank to improve its resource management. Areas to focus on include tracking expiration dates, accurate and consistent donor identification information, data backups and, timely data synchronization.


This research was made possible by ITESO Universidad and through the Reach Alliance, a partnership between the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy and the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth. Research was also funded by the Canada Research Chairs program; Ralph and Roz Halbert Professorship of Innovation at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy; and Mitacs. We thank ITESO Universidad Jesuita de Guadalajara, our primary partners in producing this report—without their support this report would not be possible. The researchers are immensely grateful for the invaluable contributions of Christian del Carmen Bustamante Rosales, Dianely Montserrat Taizan Yañez, Viridiana Ramirez Morelos, and María José González Aréchiga at ITESO. Francisco Urrutia de la Torre and David Foust’s assistance with facilitating the research was greatly appreciated. We also express gratitude to the ITESO faculty members, the survey respondents, and the key informants we interviewed in Mexico. Thanks to Kimberly Skead for her contributions to the research process and report. This project was approved by ITESO, in collaboration with the Reach Alliance.

This research was vetted and received approval from the Ethics Review Board at the University of Toronto.