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State of The Plate

Empowering Others

The State of the Plate assessment happens every 5 years, and is a chance to take stock of the local food system. 
In the past, we have used our State of the Plate assessments to advocate for mobile market funding and policies that support them, to bring FoodCorps to Charlotte to help schools educate children around healthy food, to ask for SNAP Double Bucks, and a variety of other policy and project priorities.

Recent Updates

We are thankful for the continued engagement in the process of developing our 2020 report and have completed analysis of Phase 1 research, exploring surveys and interviews discussing the assets and barriers in our food system and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have begun to disseminate some of these results and invite your feedback on the findings, deliverables, and recommendations as we progress to Phase 2.

Kids in Vegetable Farm

Phase 2: Assessing household food security and its relationship with housing, healthcare and health, transportation, and other systems.

An online survey was collectively designed and widely distributed in 2022. Nearly 700 surveys were completed. The detailed survey asked questions to measure a household’s level of food security, their use of food and nutrition programs (including Double Bucks), access to transportation and health care, and health outcomes. This phase was funded, in part, from research grants the team received from UNC Charlotte. The research team completed analysis of the data in Spring 2023 and the final report is currently being completed.

Phase 3: Assessing what Mecklenburg County residents want or need from the food system and the
collective vision of practitioners for the future of our local food system.

This phase seeks to understand what residents and stakeholders would like to see in the future of our
food system. It is being completed via two activities. First, in partnership with the American Heart
Association, a series of community dinners are being hosted throughout the county. These dinners are soliciting perspectives and ideas from residents. To date, three dinners have been hosted in southwest and west Charlotte neighborhoods. We expect to host three more in June (in north Mecklenburg and university city, and one virtual discussion). Data obtained at these events will be analyzed and reported in the last half of 2023.

Buffet Time
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State of the Plate 2020-2022

Through interviews and surveys, in 2020-2021, the research team investigated existing assets for
organizations and businesses in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg food system, the barriers to success, and
how this landscape shifted during the COVID-19 pandemic. This phase was funded, in part, by UNC
Charlotte grants awarded to the research team. A collaboratively-developed electronic survey was
completed by 41 food system representatives in late 2020. In-depth data was collected via 12
preliminary interviews in summer 2020, a planning meeting with 28 stakeholders in September 2020,
and 29 in-depth interviews in 2021.

Image by Camden & Hailey George

State of the Plate 2015

This report covers a wide range of information about Charlotte and Mecklenburg County that is roughly divided into two sections: Availability Mapping and Voice of the Community.

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