April 17, 2002
HEALTH DEPARTMENT IMPROVING NEIGHBORHOOD’S
ACCESS TO HEALTHY FOODS
Charlotte, NC – The Mecklenburg County Health Department is working to change a disturbing statistic about access to healthy foods in lower-income neighborhoods.
Part of a study done with the help of UNC Chapel Hill’s Department of Epidemiology shows that there are four times as many supermarkets in more affluent neighborhoods than in lower-income neighborhoods. According to the study, the lack of supermarkets in lower-income areas suggests people in these neighborhoods are at a disadvantage when attempting to make healthy food choices.
The Mecklenburg County Health Department and its “Fighting Back” program have teamed-up with neighborhoods along Charlotte’s northwest side, as well as other health and human services agencies to open the Neighborhood Farmers’ Market. The Market will make healthy foods available and affordable to folks who might otherwise not have access to them.
The Neighborhood Farmers’ Market opens this Saturday, April 20, at 7:00a.m. on the northwest campus of the Mecklenburg County Health Department at 2845 Beatties Ford Road.
“Availability of low-cost, fresh produce in our neighborhoods is very limited,” says Hattie Anthony, executive director of the Mecklenburg County Health Department’s “Fighting Back” Program. “The Neighborhood Farmers’ Market is a way to increase access to healthy foods and encourage better eating habits while stimulating the neighborhood economy.”
Many of the vendors participating in the Neighborhood Farmers’ Market are those who used to sell their produce at scattered locations throughout Northwest Charlotte. This centrally located Market provides them with free space in a highly visible area with plenty of traffic. The Neighborhood Farmers’ Market also provides customers with information on heart health.
The Neighborhood Farmers’ Market is open from 7:00a.m.to 2:00p.m. beginning this Saturday, and will be open every Saturday until October.