Chopped champ Nick Wallace raises awareness about food insecurity and how communities can help

Published: Aug. 27, 2020 at 5:06 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Having access to healthy food is a global challenge and one that impacts thousands of US cities and over 40 million people nationwide. For many Americans -- particularly those living in low-income neighborhoods, communities of color, and rural areas -- small grocery stores that once helped to feed the community have been closed and replaced by convenience stores, and liquor stores that primarily sell ultra-processed junk and snack foods.

According to Feeding America, even in the world’s greatest food-producing nation, children and adults face poverty and hunger in every county across America. The statistics are alarming:

  • In 2018, more than 37 million people struggled with hunger in the United States, including more than 11 million children.
  • A household that is food insecure has limited or uncertain access to enough food to support a healthy life.
  • Children are more likely to face food insecurity than any other group in the United States.

In Mississippi—which has the highest obesity rate of any state—over 70 percent of food stamp eligible households travel more than 30 miles to reach a supermarket. Adults living in “food desert” counties lacking large supermarkets are 23 percent less likely to consume the recommended fruits and vegetables than those in counties with supermarkets. As part of Dole’s promise to sustainably provide good nutrition for 1 billion people by increasing access to under-served communities, the brand recently launched an initiative,  partnering with Boys & Girls Club, Up in Farms, Smoothie King,  which addresses nutritional access and education needs in one of America’s largest food deserts.

Nationally recognized Chef Nick Wallace joined NewsChannel 7 at 4 on Thursday to discuss food insecurity, how we can educate communities about proper nutrition, and how people can help in their own communities. He also showcased simple, healthy dishes that promote optimal nutrition and discussed the unique approach Dole is taking by empowering kids to make better choices by learning about where their food comes from and how to cook it.

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