Parts of northern Walton County considered "food deserts"

WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - For many people in the northern parts of Walton County, getting food is not as easy as a simple trip to the grocery store.

Walton County has a 15.1% food insecurity rate, two percentage points higher than the state of Florida. (WJHG/WECP)

According to the 2019 community health assessment by the Walton County Department of Health, the food insecurity rate is 15% in the county. That's two percentage points higher than the rest of the state.

The Department of Health says that residents living in Mossy Head, Paxton, New Harmony, Ponce de Leon, Red Bay, Argyle, and parts of DeFuniak Springs are more likely to live in a food desert, which is when access to healthy food is limited.

Holly Holt with the Department of Health says they are trying new programs to get fresh, healthy food to more people.

"We're still working with our partnership, which is W-Chip, Walton Community Health Improvement Partnership, there's one group that's working on that specific initiative, looking at different things and one of the ways that we're dealing with here through the health department is working with our WIC program, through our farmers market," said Holt.

According to the community health assessment, a food desert exists in a rural community any time someone lives more than ten miles from a healthy food source, such as a grocery store or supermarket.

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