Despite the agricultural abundance of the Finger Lakes region, many residents experience food insecurity and diet-related problems such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and poor mental health. To address these issues, Common Ground convened the Food and Health Connection from 2017-2019.

Led by a steering committee of local experts, the group examined data related to eating habits and associated health outcomes. Responses from the My Health Story survey and a series of community cafés showed that cost and time were the top barriers preventing residents from incorporating more fruits and vegetables into their diets.

The Food and Health Connection issued its findings in April 2019. The initiative found that food insecurity is widespread in our region and that only one in ten residents consume the recommended daily servings of vegetables. Across the region, residents identified weight as a top health concern. Those with chronic diseases understood that diet is a powerful tool for managing their conditions, but faced barriers to eating well. The report concluded that community organizations, schools, health systems, government agencies and other groups must work together to make quality produce convenient and affordable for all residents, particularly those with limited financial resources and people with chronic diseases.

View maps of regional food insecurity here.

View the 2017 Symposium video here.

Read 2019 Food and Health Connection report here.


Access a wealth of data about food insecurity in the Finger Lakes from our Insights Library.