New Food Access Maps Released
NCAH has released new healthy food access maps. These maps overlay supermarket locations and sales, household income, and diet-related deaths to paint a picture of food access in North Carolina. The picture isn’t pretty:
- 23% of North Carolina’s total population live in areas where residents experience both a lack of access to supermarkets and healthy food and have high death rates from diet-related disease. This means more than 2 million residents, including almost 500,000 children under 15, don’t have access to the food they need to live a healthy lifestyle.
- There are large swaths of the state where residents are suffering with diet-related disease and can’t easily access a venue to purchase healthy foods. In addition to the cites, we see large areas in need in many rural areas.
- Neighborhoods with greater than average supermarket sales relative to total population could indicate more people are buying groceries in these communities than the number of people who live there. This could mean people are traveling from outside the area to shop there.
- There are few or no supermarkets in areas that are low income and also have low sales. Since income is lower in these areas, people living there are less able to afford to travel to the areas where supermarkets are concentrated.
There is no doubt that our state is in dire need of programs to eliminate food insecurity. The good news is that programs like the Healthy Corner Store Initiative are addressing food access and insecurity in our state. NCAH hopes that the Healthy Corner Store Initiative will receive additional funding this year to continue this important work.
To view and download this map and the other food access maps click here.