More than 30 percent of North Carolina children are overweight and obese, increasing their risk of many chronic disorders including Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and some kinds of cancer. North Carolina has more than 349 food deserts across 80 counties, impacting 1.5 million North Carolinians. More than 20 percent of North Carolinians suffer from food hardship, meaning they have not been able to buy the food their family needs within the past year.
Research shows that those who live closer to healthy food retail have a lower risk of chronic disease – but many North Carolinians have trouble accessing and affording these healthy options.
The Healthy Corner Store Initiative, officially the Healthy Food Small Retailer Program (HFSRP) reimburses corner store owners for the equipment necessary to provide healthy, affordable choices to their customers. The HFSRP was initially funded in 2016, and received additional, nonrecurring funding in 2017 and 2018. NCAH promotes full funding for the program.