Healthy Food

Our goal within this priority area is that everyone in North Carolina has access to healthy food.

Overall Perspective

Too many people in our state don’t have access to the food they need. To ensure everyone has access to healthy food, we need to change the policies, practices, and norms that have contributed to persistent inequities in food security by race, age, income, and geography. This includes a focus on supporting a network of diverse leaders in the food system, developing and spreading new models of increasing healthy food access, and advocacy for policy and system changes to address food system inequities and increase access to healthy food.

Strategic Approach and Current Focus

We are working in support of a shared vision and a path toward a more equitable and resilient North Carolina food system that feeds more people and advances racial and economic equity. To this end, we are focused on supporting agenda development and alignment, growing and increasing the racial diversity of the network of organizations focused on food access advocacy, and strengthening the overall connections in the field.

Specifically, our objectives are to:

  • Support a network of organizations to identify and achieve policy and systems change at local and state levels that will result in increased equitable access to healthy food.
  • Support the development and spread of models to increase access to healthy food and transform the local food system in under-resourced communities, prioritizing Black, American Indian, Latino, and other people of color-led efforts.
  • Increase access to no cost and healthy school meals.

As such, we are currently supporting efforts to: 

  • Mobilize a broad network of stakeholders to improve healthy food access through the development of a shared policy agenda and advocacy led by North Carolina Alliance for Health.
  • Grow and diversify the network of organizations working together to identify and advance priorities to build a more equitable food system and increase access to healthy food.
  • Expand and strengthen local food councils throughout the state to lead policy and system change for a more equitable food system at all levels in partnership with Community Food Strategies.
  • Bolster the infrastructure of the local food supply chain by building the capacity of, and collaboration between, food hubs.
  • Broaden racial equity training and coaching for institutions in the food system.
  • Strengthen and spread equitable partnerships between health care and community-based organizations to deliver Food is Medicine/Healthy Food Prescription interventions.
  • Infom the policy and system changes needed to provide no-cost food for every student in NC, also known as “universal school meals.”

More on this Issue

Contact Us

Merry Davis
Director, Healthy Food



Food is Medicine in North Carolina: Healthy Food Prescriptions, Now and In the Future

North Carolina is one of the top agricultural states in our country, yet nourishing food is not universally accessible. The effects of food insecurity are far reaching with its links to decreased healthy food consumption, increased risk for diet-sensitive chronic disease, and increased health care costs.

Blog Post: Local Food Hub Making a Difference in its Community

The lack of access to affordable, healthy, local food is an urgent issue for communities in North Carolina. This has been an issue for years, and the ongoing pandemic has pulled the curtain back more to reveal just how prevalent it is.

Blog Post: We Have An Opportunity With Nutrition Assistance Programs

Overcoming the barriers to SNAP and WIC provides the opportunity for many in North Carolina to get the food they need.

Food Policy Roadmap to Nourish All of North Carolina