Access to healthy food is a vital part of a complete community. Ensuring residents have access to healthy, affordable foods can fend off countless health problems, including many of the most significant chronic health conditions like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Furthermore, many healthy food initiatives bring people together and strengthen community bonds. As a result, these policies can not only improve access to healthy food, but they can also encourage economic development, foster innovation at the local level, and build social capital.
Applying Access to Healthy Food Tools
However, there is not one simple solution because the problem itself is not simple. Barriers to food access occur as current policies and practices interact with many other social and environmental factors like transportation and economic development. When it comes to understanding this complex problem at the local level, context is key. Using this analysis of determining factors for food access, local governments, citizen planners, and community organizations can identify factors creating barriers to food access in their communities.
Similarly, it is crucial to identify opportunities with a community context specific approach. Unique community character is part of what allows local level policy to address target problems alongside creating a sense of place and building social capital, but it also means there are no one size fits all solutions. There is no better way to find out which solutions would work best in a community than asking those to live there. Community engagement can help identify which policies will thrive and ensure that limited resources are spent effectively. Visit other sections of the Complete Communities Toolbox for additional tips, tools, and tech to help make your community complete.
Refer to our resources as you work to improve access to healthy food in your community. For even more resources, check out Access to Healthy Food: A Guide for Delaware Local Governments to find an additional list of helpful resources by other organizations.
In addition to the web pages in this section make sure to check out:
- Access to Healthy Food: A Guide for Delaware Local Governments
- Access to Healthy Food in Delaware Spark Page
- Access to Healthy Food Infographic Gallery