SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Food insecurity is described as “the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient amount of affordable, nutritious food.” 

In 2019, one in eight Georgians were considered food insecure. From 2020 to 2021, an estimated one in six children in Georgia were food insecure.

Healthy Savannah is taking a closer look at the issue in the Savannah and Chatham County area, and what can be done to address it. 

“I think the biggest thing is what we call deserts,” said Healthy Savannah’s Armand Turner. “Basically, those are areas that are communities’ neighborhoods that are more than a mile from the grocery store and so what we’re seeing is that a lot of individuals, especially our low wealth African American population are being forced to, you know, travel extremely far to get good nutritious food.”

Tuesday’s meeting was open to the public where city organizations and leaders discussed bringing back a food policy council for the city.

“The food policy council is something that has existed in Savannah and Chatham county before,” said Turner. “But over the last few years it’s been dormant.”

It’s a step into proactively fighting food insecurity as many suffering can have lasting health effects because of it.

“Chronic diseases can be linked back to you know people not having that nutritious food in their communities,” says Turner. “So, we see people who have increased rates of heart attacks, high blood pressure.”

Those in attendance say they’ve seen success with community gardens and traveling food trucks in helping combat the accessibility issue, as they continue to look for additional partners in sustaining a food policy council.