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West Virginia University (WVU) Davis College of Agriculture and School of Public Health, with assistance from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), have been working to identify the structural factors that create food deserts or serve as barriers to food security in West Virginia. This group has hosted a series of meetings since 2018 that have brought together key players and existing committed groups with a perspective on food deserts to 1) identify factors limiting access and opportunities to attain nutritious, affordable, and acceptable food, and 2) generate a prioritized list of strategies that actors in the state can consider to address its food security problems.

A third convening on December 10, 2019 (“the Summit”) was held with the aim of developing a community-driven plan of action that builds on the assets and activities already underway in the region. The goals of this convening were to:

  1. Identify the interests of key stakeholder groups that play a role in addressing food deserts.

  2. Have groups understand and catalog the roles and programmatic activities of groups that could address part of a food desert plan.

  3. Develop proposals that merge the issues and perspectives of several sectors and can formulate a blueprint to address food deserts in West Virginia.

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