Nourishing Networks, West Virginia Community Food Security Assessment

Food Access, Local and Regional Food Systems, Nutrition

Year of Publication:



Bradley Wilson, Joshua Lohne, Cheryl Brown, Jessica Crum,Thomson Gross

Each year we witness a widening gap in the U.S. between those who can access high quality, affordable, nutritious foods and those who cannot. Across Appalachia, where disparities in food access are particularly acute, advocates are working hard to close that gap. From school breakfast and lunch programs to weekend backpack programs, the expansion of community gardening to farmers markets, neighborhood soup kitchens to county food pantries, local groups are spearheading initiatives to improve food access throughout the region. While each new community food initiative represents an outpouring of creative energy to repair our broken food system, they are rarely brought into fruitful conversation. Indeed, constrained by time and place, groups engaged in community food security initiatives often struggle to connect their particular strategic efforts to parallel work carried out by similar organizations, institutions and campaigns. Moreover, when we do meet to discuss and bridge divides, it is often difficult to develop dialogues and shared visions that welcome diverse points of view. In this report we explore diverse strategies to alleviate hunger and to promote access to healthy food in West Virginia.

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