Founded in 2008, Local Matters began in part as a response to a system that makes it difficult for communities in need to get consistent access to healthful, affordable foods and the realization that many lack the skills necessary to feed their families on a budget. These factors have greatly influenced the exorbitant rates of chronic disease, resulting in the prediction by experts that the current generation of children will have a shorter lifespan than their parents.
Chronic disease. Poor nutrition is a major contributor to preventable chronic diseases, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease, costing the US millions of lives and over $500 billion in medical expenses each year. Children experiencing poor nutrition at a young age are more likely to experience obesity and chronic disease later in life.
Inadequate access to healthful foods. Studies overwhelmingly indicate that people living in communities without a supermarket suffer from disproportionately high rates of diet-related health issues when compared with those that have access. Columbus has been highlighted for its high number of low-income families without access to healthy and nutritious foods.
Lack of education. Limited knowledge about nutrition and basic cooking skills, among other issues, is a major contributor to chronic disease and complications that accompany it. Even those living near grocery stores may lack the education and resources necessary to select and prepare healthy foods, particularly on a budget.