Rowan County addressing food insecurity

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 11, 2021

By Millennium Sheriff
N.C. Cooperative Extension

Food insecurity is a major issue in the state of North Carolina, for it has the 10th highest rate of food insecurity in the nation. In Rowan county alone, 11% of the population has limited access to healthy foods as a result of food deserts. Food deserts are areas in which accessibility to healthy foods is limited and detrimental to the well-being of residents. A majority of those living amongst said conditions are of low-income families who do not live close to a grocery store.

In 2019, non-profit organizations such as Rowan Food and Farm Network (RFFN) began working to combat food insecurity in local communities. The goal of RFFN is to educate residents about healthy food choices and provide opportunities for vendors, consumers, and farmers throughout the county. Bread Riot is one of the local non-profit organizations that assist in combating food insecurity.

Advocating for food security throughout Salisbury, Bread Riot collaborates with Rowan County school nutrition to provide low-income families with farm-fresh produce. During the summer, Bread Riot follows school buses that provide breakfast and lunch to school children in order to bring boxes of fresh, locally grown produce for their parents. In addition to distributing locally grown produce, Bread Riot supplies kids with books and toys.

More recently, the organization has begun a ‘Faith Harvest’ in which it provides boxes of fresh, locally grown produce to local churches. In order to distribute locally grown produce, Bread Riot partners with local farmers which are granted in order to assist with the growth of their businesses. The last objective of Bread Riot is to provide educational opportunities to enhance understanding of local food options.

During my volunteer experience, recipes were given to residents in order to assist with their implementation of fresh produce into their diets. Volunteering with Bread Riot is an active and beneficial means of getting involved in your community. Getting involved is a one step towards helping your neighbor overcome their hardships while helping the community enjoy a healthier lifestyle. Reaching out to Carol Schmitz-Corken or Dottie Hoy is a way to get involved, or you can find more information about Bread Riot at or check out their Facebook and Instagram page @Breadriotnc. You can also send a donation check to The Bread Riot, PO Box 296, Salisbury, NC 28147.

Millennium Sheriff is an intern with the NCSU Cooperative Extension.

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