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UNC Researcher Starts "Buy One, Give One" Meal Company

Good Bowls

Many people are familiar with TOMS shoe company, which donates a pair of shoes for every one purchased. Now, a researcher in the Triangle is trying a similar business model with frozen meals.

Alice Ammerman is a nutrition professor in the Gillings School of Global Public Health and director of the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at UNC-Chapel Hill. She’s piloting a program, called Good Bowls, that provides low-income people access to affordable frozen meals made with healthy ingredients.

“The bowls are made with a lot of sweet potatoes, collard greens and chicken. Things that are familiar to people who live in North Carolina,” Ammerman said.


Bowl prices are $4.99 with the option of paying $2 more or $2 less, depending on your economic situation. Selling more food bowls at the higher price makes more food bowls available at the lower price in low-income areas.


The bowls can be purchased with SNAP food benefits. Convenience stores in low-income areas identified as food deserts will carry only subsidized bowls at $2.99.


The subsidized, standard-price and higher-priced bowls are available at premium grocery stores like Weaver Street Market and Durham Food Co-op.  


James Morrison is a national award-winning broadcast reporter with more than seven years experience working in radio and podcasts. His work has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now and multiple other radio outlets and podcasts. His reporting focuses on environmental and health issues, with a focus on the opioid epidemic and sustainable food systems. He was recognized with a national award for a story he reported for NPR on locally-sourced oyster farming. He also received a national award for his daily news coverage of firefighters killed in the line of duty. A podcast he produced about the fall of Saigon during the Vietnam War was accepted into the Hearsay International Audio Arts Festival.
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