Tangelo Mobile App Increases Food Access for Wake County, NC

by Marissa Sheldon, MPH

Part of the Food Policy Snapshot Series

Policy name: Tangelo mobile app

Overview: North Carolina Cooperative Extension – Wake County Center and Wake County Government have partnered with the national food benefits platform Tangelo to distribute food benefits to at-risk community members. 

Location: Wake County, North Carolina, (County Seat: Raleigh)

Population: 1.2 million in Wake County; 500 families participating in this pilot program

Food policy category: Food insecurity

Program goals: To provide food benefits and fresh, culturally relevant foods to food-insecure individuals. 

How it works: Tangelo is a national food benefits platform and mobile app that partners with government, healthcare, universities, employers, and non-profits to create food benefits for community members. Wake County has worked with Tangelo to develop member-eligibility criteria (which include food insecurity and/or lack of transportation), design food benefits, and enroll members on the mobile app. When members first log onto the app, they are required to complete a social risk screener before redeeming benefits and having fresh food delivered to their home twice a month. 

A local Wake County supplier, The Produce Box, provides the healthy, culturally relevant food that members receive.

This is a pilot program that will run through February 2022 with the option of continuing into the future. 

Progress to date: Five hundred families have been enrolled in the pilot program that runs from November 2021 through February 2022. 

Why it is important: Twelve percent of the Wake County population, including 37,000 children under the age of 18, is food-insecure. Food insecurity can have negative consequences for both adults and children, such as:

Food insecurity is often associated with or exacerbated by a lack of access to healthy food in one’s community. The Tangelo platform helps food-insecure individuals purchase healthy foods at an affordable cost, without ever having to leave the house.  

Program/Policy initiated: The pilot program began in late fall of 2021 and will run through February 2022. 

Point of contact: 
Matt Calabria, Chair, Wake County Board of Commissioners
Phone: 919-856-5576

Similar practices: Tangelo works with governments and organizations across the country. to provide food benefits and healthy foods to those in need. 

Evaluation: Evaluation has not yet been completed. 

Learn more: 


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