We love to share news of our partners success, and today we are proud to celebrate the great work happening in North Carolina. From all of us at the Voices Action Center, congratulations, and well done!
The North Carolina General Assembly has included $250,000 in continued funding for the statewide Healthy Corner Store Initiative in this year’s final state budget, bringing the total state investment to $500,000. The funding shows the legislature’s continued commitment to ensuring healthy food is accessible and affordable for all North Carolinians. The program, housed in the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS), was initially funded in 2016. NCDA&CS is in the process of placing refrigeration and shelving in small retail stores and connecting them with distributors to allow them to stock and sell local, healthy food and the continued funding will allow the program to expand to other parts of the state.
The North Carolina Alliance for Health has led the healthy corner store campaign over the past few years, with support from a number of organizations including the American Heart Association and Youth Empowered Solutions (YES!), a Voices for Healthy Kids Incubator Grantee. This year, YES! partnered with eight groups across NC to engage in conversation and advocacy, provided adult and youth leader trainings, aided local teams in holding in-district meetings and community forums, and co-hosted, with the NC Alliance for Health, a statewide Advocacy Day involving more than 80 youth at the NC General Assembly.
Creating space for youth to lead in this work is vital to the success of this campaign, advocacy at the NC General Assembly, and democracy. The partnership between the NC Alliance for Health and YES!, as well as the support and technical assistance from Voices for Healthy Kids has been crucial in ensuring the incremental success of the healthy corner store campaign in North Carolina.
Join us in congratulating North Carolina Alliance for Health, Youth Empowered Solutions, and the American Heart Association for taking steps to increase access to healthy food in NC!