Charleston, West Virginia is the largest, most populated city in West Virginia with an estimated population of 51,400 (2010) consisting of urban, suburban, and rural communities. The state of West Virginia's ethnic make-up is 94% Caucasian, 4.0% African American, 1.0% American Indian, and 1.0% Asian. However, Charleston is the most ethnically diverse area in the state consisting of 18% non-white residents. The population density of Charleston is 1,630 per square mile, with a land area of roughly 32 square miles. As of November 2011, the unemployment rate of Charleston was 6.4%.

For this particular project, the area of focus is on Charleston's West Side, which has a population of approximately 9,900 residents, of which 20 percent are minority, and an average income per household of $30,376 (2010). Furthermore, the unemployment rate on the West Side is slightly higher at 8.28%, and 68.9% of children living in this area are eligible for the Free or Reduced Lunch Program.

The West Side of Charleston has four grocery stores, 20 convenience stores, eight fast food establishments, and four restaurants. However, West Side residents are more than a mile from a supermarket, as defined as a self-service retail market selling a variety and volume of its goods and services.

Our partners in the area include:

Monica Kessell is the Community Liaison for the Charleston, WV site.