Addressing Poverty, Public Health, Local Commerce, & Sustainability Through Food Security,, Aug 2011 study

• Fourteen of Buncombe County’s fifteen ZIP codes contain a food outlet of some sort, yet one out of
every six people in Western North Carolina experiences food insecurity.

• There was a 27% increase in county residents that receive food assistance, up to 31,011 in 2010.

• In July 2011, 5,522 people in Buncombe County were on WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program
for Women, Infants and Children), up from 5,135 in May 2011.

• 50.1% of students within Buncombe County School System were enrolled in the free and reduced lunch
program during the 2009-2010 school year, up from 46.7% the previous year.

• The 2010 Buncombe County Community Health Assessment found that only 58% of the population has
access to healthy foods, higher than the state average, but much lower than the target value of 69%.


•The presence of “Food Deserts” – areas that do not have a convenient, affordable, healthy food source

• High prices for healthy food even when it is available.

• Inadequate cooking education and nutrition information.

• Limited public awareness on the necessity and accessibility of affordable, healthy food.

• The availability of local, sustainable food to the population.


• Population of 9 billion in 2050 will increase food demands by 70%.

• 35% of worlds population lives in arid or semi-arid zones.

• Food insecurity in arid zones is likely to be far more severe than in other zones.

• High water use for traditional farming methods.

• Availabilty of good agricultural land is decreasing.