86Hunger gives students healthier options for families experiencing food insecurity

North Carolina News

WINTERVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — 86Hunger is partnering with schools across Pitt County so that students don’t have to worry about where their next meal is coming from. 

“We always put no candy,” said Michael Murphy.  

Murphy runs 86Hunger, a non-profit partnered with the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. His priority is making sure kids are fed, but also trying to introduce healthy choices into students’ lives. 

“We can kind of walk a middle road there, while some of the stuff is processed, we try to stay more on the healthier side,” Murphy said.

The non-profit packs food bags for kids. They try to give students healthier options since most of their families live in food deserts, areas where people have limited access to healthy foods. That can be a challenge. 

“We found and seen that if you go to healthy, the children won’t eat it,” said Murphy.   

The lack of access may be linked to poor diets. The health effects of living in a food desert are higher incidences of obesity and diabetes. There are about dozen food deserts in ENC. 

Economic Research Service, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

The Food Bank of Eastern and Central North Carolina has some suggestions on how you can help.  

“When people want to donate food, and they’re interested in assisting children in particular, we want them to have cereals that are non-sugar-based cereals, nutritious snacks, fresh vegetables, juices,” said George Young, the eastern regional director for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.

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