Why access to healthy foods?
North Carolina has more than 349 food deserts across 80 counties, impacting 2 million North Carolinians–including almost 500,000 children. 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. Not having access to healthy foods increases North Carolinians’ risk of many chronic disorders including Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and some kinds of cancer.
The NC Healthy Food Retail Task Force
In 2018, the North Carolina Alliance for Health convened a task force of industry leaders to explore barriers to healthy food access in the retail environment and to make recommendations to improve access to healthy food retail.
Food for Every Child: The Need for Food Access in North Carolina is the first report from the task force.
In April 2019, the full recommendations were released. Read Supporting Healthy Food Access in North Carolina.
Get involved in access to healthy foods!
Farm to School Funding
The North Carolina Alliance for Health works with a diverse and robust coalition of partners advocating for farm to school funding in North Carolina.
Learn more about why we think farm to school is a great combination of healthy food access, economic development, and support for our farmers!
The Healthy Corner Store Initiative
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.