Most of us will rush to complete our last-minute shopping for the Thanksgiving holiday at our neighborhood grocery store or supermarket. However, convenient access to affordable, healthy food is a challenge for many North Carolinians, particularly those living in low-income neighborhoods where food deserts—areas with no or distant grocery stores—are more likely to exist. Indeed, the ability to meet one’s nutritional needs is impacted by the neighborhood in which they live.
In light of a new report showing that food stamp participation rates have jumped since the start of the Great Recession, the NC Budget and Tax Center conducted analysis on the food environment in North Carolina. Many of the counties with the highest concentration of SNAP-authorized stores are not only in more rural areas of North Carolina but are more likely to have a larger percentage of vehicle-free households located more than 10 miles from any grocery store. This is especially true for counties in the eastern part of the state.
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