Tangelo Partners With Wake County to Help Fight Food Insecurity; Jeremy Cooley, Courtney Tellefsen, and Matt Calabria Comment
WAKE COUNTY, NC - Especially during the holiday season, I cannot help but think about those across the nation who struggle with food insecurity. In an effort to overcome this challenge, national food benefits platform Tangelo has teamed up with Wake County Government, North Carolina, Cooperative Extension – Wake County Center, and community partners to create and distribute food benefits for members of the community who are at risk.
“We are thrilled to be working with Wake County and partners to successfully deliver nutritious foods while also identifying diet deficiencies and barriers within their communities,” said Jeremy Cooley, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Tangelo. “This is the first step in building a sustainable food future for Wake County, and we look forward to continuing our work here.”
Twelve percent of the population in Wake County is considered food insecure, which includes more than 37,000 children under the age of 18, a press release explained. Tangelo worked with Wake County to specify eligibility criteria, design food benefits, and enroll members of the community into the Tangelo Mobile App, where they can complete a social risk screening and redeem their nutritious food benefits for fresh, culturally relevant food to be delivered to their doorsteps twice a month.
Local supplier The Produce Box also joined the initiative, providing fresh, local produce for Tangelo to deliver to the community, providing increased access to nutritious food.
“The holidays can be stressful for everyone, especially the most vulnerable residents in our community,” said Courtney Tellefsen, Chief Executive Officer of The Produce Box. “This partnership is a natural extension of what we've been doing for 13 years across North Carolina and helps support our local farmers and deliver fresh fruits and vegetables to families who need them well into the new year.”
Local community organizations have also helped identify and enroll families into the Tangelo Mobile App, including:
- El Centro Hispano
- Pine Acres Community Center
- Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church
- Juniper Level Missionary Baptist Church
- Raleigh Dream Center
- Lutheran Services Carolina
- Wake County Health and Human Services Child Welfare Division
According to the release, 500 households who have limited transportation and are experiencing food insecurity are taking part in this pilot program through February 2022, with options to continue afterward.
The ambitious, admirable project helps support the Wake County Comprehensive Food Security Plan adopted in 2017, which works to push the county toward food security and a sustainable food future.
“Many of the participating households reside in food deserts—places where it’s tough to find fresh, affordable food,” said Wake County Board of Commissioners Chair Matt Calabria. “This new program will allow us to overcome food deserts, transportation barriers and other hurdles that have historically prevented people from accessing nutritious food. The healthy food will come directly to them.”
As more companies across the industry rally to battle food insecurity, ANUK will report on the tactics taking form.