Wake County Commissioners Approve $7.2 Million Food Plan

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2023 Wake County Food Security Plan Update: Creating a Resilient & Equitable Food System

In June 2022, N.C. Cooperative Extension, Wake County Center began the process of updating the 2018 Wake County Comprehensive Food Security Plan. On Monday, March 20th, the Wake County Food Security Program Manager, Sydney Klein Mierop, presented the update to Wake County Board of Commissioners.

Wake County Food Security Program Manager, Sydney Klein Mierop speaking at the Resilience: Food For All panel discussion.

The Wake County Food Security Plan Update is the result of an equity-based steering committee, partner-organization workgroups, and research-based analysis of similar models. The steering committee was composed of community members with lived experience of poverty and/or strong advocacy roles in their community, as well as practitioners actively working in food system roles.

The 2023 Food Plan Update outlines strategies and outcomes to maximize the $7.2 Million awarded by Wake County  and transition our current food security model from food charity to food resilience.

Improve Supply of Nutritious Food & Expand Farmer/Buyer Connections, Increase Production & Sustain Farms

  • Food Hub Support – Farmer & Partner Aggregation: $874,500.00
  • Communal Garden Start Up & Expansion: $67,500.00
  • Support Purchase of Local & Build Markets: $1,485,000.00

Increase Storage, Efficiency, & Equitable Service

  • Pantry Innovation Grants: $90,000.00
  • Expand Mobile Markets: $692,000.00

Decrease Waste & Connect Community

  • Community Health Workers: $700,696.00

Increase Tailored Services & Physical Access

  • Produce Prescription & Home Delivery: $2,158,200.00

Additional support necessary to ensure equity & informed decision making:

  • Collective Data Portal: $22,295.00
  • Food Justice Cohort & Trainings: $102,500.00
  • Food Security Interns: $122,506.00
  • American Rescue Plan Administrative Assistant: $196,056.00

Total Investment: $7,267,253.00

In the update, core impacts are supported by targeted strategies, all working together to ensure resilience in the food system.

In addition to the successful Wake County Food Plan Update, the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) highlighted the effects of food insecurity in the state, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A group of professionals answering questions from a stage.

On Thursday March 23rd, NCACC partnered with Wake County, N.C. Cooperative Extension, and the NC State College of Agriculture & Life Sciences to show the award-winning documentary, Resilience: Food for All, and host a panel discussion with elected officials and local leaders at James B. Hunt Library on NC State Campus. This event kicked off with free, locally sourced food before premiering the documentary.

(Left to Right) Chris Baucom, NCACC Executive Producer & Video Creative Director; Crystal Taylor, Founder & CEO of Black Farmers Market; Kelis Johnson, NC State Student; Dr. Rich Bonanno, NC State Vice Provost for Outreach and Engagement & Associate Dean of CALS

Community member asking a question to the panel.

Resilience is a film that explores the challenges of food access in North Carolina and how heroes from all walks of life, including food growers, community volunteers, and county leaders, are working to strengthen food system resilience in local communities.

Watch it now!

More information on Food Security in Wake County: Food Security Program | Wake County Government