Croatan Institute with the Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments Released New Study on Healthy Food Access

September 21, 2021

On Tuesday, September 21st Croatan Institute in collaboration with the Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments (UCPCOG), Working Landscapes, ABC2, the Just Foods Collaborative and many other regional and state partners released a comprehensive study and asset map on healthy food access in the Upper Coast Plain of North Carolina. 

This work culminated in an analysis of the region’s local healthy food system including an interactive map of existing assets and resources, identification of food system gaps and opportunities, and recommendations on how to improve healthy food access, especially for underserved small and minority food farms, value chain businesses, and community residents to help build new economic opportunity and resiliency.

Ron Townley, UCPCOG’s Planning and Development Services Director, said: 

“Perhaps most importantly, we used all this information to evaluate and make recommendations on how to improve and build out the local food system. That was the primary goal, empower the region to create new wealth and improved health through growing the local food system. Whether you are a community garden supporter, a small farmer, a food business operator, or just a food buyer – and that is all of us – there is information of value.”

Joshua Humphreys, President of Croatan Institute, noted:

“HealthyFAM brought together an intentionally inclusive community-based partnership that made the process of mapping the regional food system rooted in genuine community needs and experiences. The research and community engagement teams have developed an impressive series of interactive resources that help stakeholders navigate the region’s food value chains, understand its socio-economic challenges, and assess shovel-ready opportunities to advance equitable access to healthy, local food. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with Healthy FAM partners on implementing the project’s wide-ranging recommendations.”

Read the full press release here. 

Learn more about the project here.