WHAT WE DO: MISSION + VISION
Middle of the Root’s (MOR) vision is to develop a vibrant, sustainable food system that makes fresh, locally grown food accessible throughout Forsyth County, NC. In particular, our mission is to significantly impact the most food-insecure areas, by creating access to healthy, farm-fresh food and providing both education and empowerment for healthier eating.
HOW WE DO:
We are actively working on developing creative ways to bring fresh, seasonal food from our local farmers and artisans in North Carolina into the hearts, homes and businesses of those living here.
We're excited about collaborating with organizations (private & public), people,
projects and programs that have a need for food and/or those who want to make their programs, people or communities enriched through food. We invite you to share in our journey as we connect communities through food.
By partly funding our programs through the sale of meal kits with fresh, local ingredients, we also support agriculture in our area, expanding the market for local farmers by connecting them with people who want and need what they grow.
WHY WE DO IT: FOOD INSECURITY & THE DISCONNECT WITH LOCAL FOOD
Nationally, North Carolina ranks fifth worst for the percentage of the population struggling with food insecurity,1 and Winston-Salem ranks thirtieth in the country in terms of food hardship rates.2 In Forsyth County, 18% of our total population is food insecure, with 24.1% of our children living in food-insecure homes. North Carolina’s 12th congressional district, which includes Winston-Salem, ranks worst in the state for food insecurity and is among the ten worst districts in the nation.3
People in low-income households are at risk not only for food insecurity, but also unhealthy weight gain. North Carolina ranks fifth among all states in childhood obesity,4 while two-thirds of adults are obese or overweight. Processed, fattening foods with low nutritional value are the most inexpensive, and residents of impoverished areas often lack transportation or proximity to stores with affordable healthy food. Food deprivation can lead to overeating when food becomes available, and unfortunately, low-income youth and adults are exposed to disproportionately more marketing and advertising for obesity-promoting products.5
Agricultural problems also relate to local-food access. Ongoing trends include decline in farm incomes and in the number of people choosing to farm, which decreases the amount of local food being grown and raises its price. Even though North Carolina is still an agricultural hub with thousands of farms, people living in food deserts don’t have access to the healthy food grown locally, which provides much better nutrition than highly processed foods with empty calories. Our programs will address and bridge this gap, supporting both the farmers who grow our local food and the people who have the least access to it.
1Map the Meal Gap 2015 Study
2Food Hardship in America 2011 (released Feb 2012).
Food Research and Action Center Hunger in America 2010 (released Feb 2, 2010). Feeding America
3Hunger Research UNC Chapel Hill, Food Insecurity Statistics in Forsyth County, NC
4 Wolf, Alan. “Charity targets obesity in kids.” News & Observer. October 26, 2010.
Article concerns Blue Cross/Blue Shield’s initiative, Shape NC: Healthy Starts for Young Children.5
Map the Meal Gap 2015 Study
6 How are food insecurity and obesity related? UNC School of Law, Food Research and Action Center