Collaborative seeks data on food access in Beaufort County

Published 6:18 pm Monday, November 19, 2018

A online survey might net a responder $200, $300 or $500. It will also net key insight into health and habits in Beaufort County.

The Healthy Eating Active Living Collaborative-Beaufort County is asking county residents to respond to the online survey that will give them a better understanding of how people buy food and where they buy it and help determine where the gaps are between healthy eating and not-so-healthy eating in the area.

“The survey will help figure out what’s currently happening when purchasing foods and figuring out better options,” said Meg Howdy, Washington Harbor District Alliance director. “For the person who’s going to the store, what are the options out there for you? Is it an education thing or is it not having access?”

The survey is being conducted by Partnerships to Improve Community Health and Rural Forward NC which is working with the Healthy Eating Active Living Collaborative-Beaufort County. The stated purpose is to use the “information to understand where people shop for food and inform ways to increase community access to healthy food options,” according to the survey introduction.

The Healthy Eating Active Living Collaborative-Beaufort County consists of stakeholders in health in the county: Eagle’s Wings Food Pantry, farmers market directors, the Grace Martin Harwell Senior Center, area churches, the Beaufort County Health Department, Eastern Community Care and more.

“There’s a lot of different groups that it’s pulling together for this action plan and one step is doing the assessments,” Howdy said.

The survey is anonymous and voluntary, but responders do have the option to submit their names and contact information into a drawing to win either a $200, $300 or $500 gift card.

Howdy, whose organization runs the outdoor Farmers and Artisans Market in Washington from April to October and is in the process of building a permanent indoor market on West Main Street, said the initiative will help WHDA serve the community better.

“For the Harbor Market, it is important to provide for the community; look toward the future and grow our young people into this world of healthy options,” Howdy said.

The survey, which takes about 15 minutes to fill out, can be found here.