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Reach Roundup: Food Access

Note: The following is the weekly Reach Roundup newsletter from August 9, 2018. To sign up for this newsletter, leave your information below.

Reach: Food Access

Hey there, it’s Analisa with Reach NC Voices. You may notice this Reach Roundup looks a little different than it used to. Based on your feedback, we have redesigned this newsletter to better serve you.

Each week, we will dive deep on one policy issue facing North Carolina. We will let you know what your fellow North Carolinians had to say about the issue, provide statewide and local data, link to relevant articles, and more.

This week, we take a closer look at food access across North Carolina. In a recent report by the Food Research and Action Center, North Carolina had the 17th highest food hardship rate in the country at 16.4 percent. This means that one in every six households were unable to afford enough food at some point during 2016–2017. Read more on this topic throughout this newsletter.

As we gear up for back-to-school, our next question of the week is about when school days and school calendars should start. Click here to weigh in!

Thanks for sticking with us. We look forward to hearing from you.

What you told us about food access:

Five Facts:

4,470,000 free meals   
The federally funded Summer Food Service Program gave out 4,470,000 free meals to NC students in the most recent numbers from 2017. However, only 12% of eligible students participated. The program topped $12 million dollars in spending.

43 counties losing stores
43 of 100 NC counties had a 5% or more decrease in the number of grocery stores from 2009–2014. Tyrrell, Camden, Caswell, and Mitchell decreased by at least 50%.

1 in 4 children
According to a report from the USDA, almost one in every four North Carolina children face hunger on a daily basis (24.6%).

25.3% in Edgecombe
Over a quarter of Edgecombe residents face food insecurity as reported by Feeding America. That is the highest mark in the state. The NC county average is 15.4%.

$1.70 in economic impact
Economists estimate that every dollar a household redeems through SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) generates about $1.70 in economic impact. 

Our Picks:

UNC’s Good Bowls Program Peddles Cheap, Nutritious Meals in Convenience Stores, Co-ops, and Food Deserts | Indy Week  6/27/2018

Call it trickle-down misery. When funding is tight, the people further down the economic ladder are the hardest hit. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, North Carolina has the fifth-highest number of people living with food insecurity.

Keep Reading

Local, National Barriers Leave Millions of Child Feeding Dollars on the Table | NC Health News – 8/3/2018

Every day in Charlotte, an air-conditioned school activity bus full of free lunches turns into a church parking lot. Within minutes, 60 children cross the street from a mobile home park with their friends and neighbors to receive a meal.

Keep Reading

Question of the Week:


Travel Notes:

  • Caroline Parker and Mebane Rash were in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina this week for the Convocation on the Rural Church hosted by the Duke Divinity School.
  • Liz Bell has been in Nash, Edgecombe, and Halifax counties covering the birth through eighth grade experience.
Last week, members of our team received a tour of Oakland Avenue Urban Farm in the North End of Detroit. Molly Osborne/EducationNC
Reach NC Voices Team

The Reach NC Voices team includes Nation Hahn, director of growth for EdNC; Molly Osborne, director of policy; Analisa Sorrells, chief of staff and associate director of policy; and Alli Lindenberg, engagement specialist.