Guilford County, NC, faces a high food insecurity rate of 17.1%, nearly double the national average, with underinvested communities being disproportionately affected. The County’s Food Security Program, established in 2022, aims to improve food access and security through various initiatives such as enhancing food availability, supporting local farming, and addressing climate-related challenges. To execute this program, the County will partner with FUSE, and FUSE Executive Fellow Jennie Ann Cole will conduct a landscape analysis to understand stakeholder needs and gather data on food security. Jennie Ann will then design a county-wide food security plan, incorporating successful strategies from across the country, and implement strategies like data aggregation, universal metrics for food security assessment, and establishing collaborations with key stakeholders to improve community access to food.

The project’s overarching goal is to unite community resources and combat food insecurity in Guilford County. By fostering collaboration among existing organizations, sharing data, and implementing a comprehensive food security plan, the County aims to improve residents’ social determinants of health (SDOH) and create a more resilient and inclusive community. The project will prioritize low-wealth communities and historically marginalized populations affected by policy decisions that disproportionately impact their well-being. Through these efforts, Guilford County seeks to develop a fair and sustainable food system, ultimately improving its residents’ overall health and well-being.