Overcoming Obstacles to Food Access in Clinton County
Building Healthy Communities
November 2, 2015
WebsiteSEE GRANT OUTCOMES
The Clinton County Health Department (CCHD) works to make Clinton County a healthier place to live for its 80,000 residents.
CCHD was selected as one of NYSHealth’s six Healthy Neighborhoods Fund grantees, playing the lead role in coordinating a multipronged approach to improve the health of its residents. Poverty in Clinton County is exacerbated by geographic isolation—it is one of the most rural counties in the State. People in the community travel farther for nearly everything, including healthy foods. In 2011, the county (about the size of Rhode Island) had only 24 grocery stores, and only half of them were WIC authorized. High food prices and transportation issues also are barriers to healthy food access for residents. In 2015, NYSHealth awarded CCHD a grant to execute a comprehensive strategy to address the barriers to food access faced by both producers (retailers) and consumers.
Under this grant, CCHD took advantage of the community’s rich agricultural industry to increase healthy food consumption through local farmers markets and farm stands. Specifically, CCHD worked with several organizations to increase the number of farmers markets and farm stands that accept benefits from Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), WIC, and Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT). It worked to increase the number of EBT transactions at local farmers markets and farm stands, and designed a locally adapted benefit incentive program whereby EBT consumers get two dollars’ worth of produce for every one dollar they spend. CCHD also leveraged existing State funding to increase the number of schools procuring locally sourced fruits and vegetables.