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Catawba county is a small county in central North Carolina where Latinos are the largest minority group. Many folks living in the county don’t have access to regular nutritious food.
One college student has inspired her community to take action to get better food into areas that need it.
Kayla Earley, a junior at Lenoir-Rhyne University, is developing a research project to learn more about the specific needs of visitors to Catawba County soup kitchens, with the goal of using her research reduce food insecurity in Catawba County 10 percent by 2016.
Earley’s work has called attention to food access issues in Catawa County. Catawba County Health Partners, a nonprofit that fosters coalitions to improve health countywide, has used USDA data to identify six “food deserts” in Catawba County. Earley used more reports from Catawba County Health Partners to emphasize the need for research and action, locally.
Driven by community input, Catawba County Health Partners helped established two farmers markets in the past two years: at the Center United Methodist Church in Catawba, and at the Catawba County Public Health office.
They hope to bring more awareness and get more partners involved in bringing healthy foods into the community.