Mobile food pharmacies to tackle food deserts in Mecklenburg County

Food desert communities are starving for access to quality groceries; almost 15% of people in Mecklenburg County are food insecure.

MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — Where you call home might say something about the food you eat. 

Certain Charlotte zip codes are considered food deserts, meaning people there have limited access to quality groceries.

To tackle that problem, the local health department and hospitals are teaming up with the non-profit, Loaves and Fishes, and rolling out a new solution.

Wednesday, ONE Charlotte Health Alliancepartners Atrium Health, Novant Health, and Mecklenburg County Public Health Department, in partnership with Loaves & Fishes, unveiled two first-of-its-kind mobile food pharmacies. 

They will help deliver fresh groceries to food-insecure neighborhoods. 

“Families who are referred to us will be able to climb on board and shop like they would a regular grocery store for a week’s worth of nutritionally balanced food,” said Tina Postel, Executive Director of Loaves & Fishes.

Health officials identified several zip codes — 28205, 28206, 28208, 28212, 28216 and 28217 — as food deserts, meaning people are a few miles away from a grocery store.