The Healthy Food Access Portal brings together the rapidly growing body of research, best practices, resources, and policy information for community members, practitioners, advocates, entrepreneurs, and others who are committed to ensuring that all communities have equitable access to healthy, quality, affordable food.
- Provides a one-stop shop for a wide range of research and technical support tools created by dozens of organizations active in the food access sector
- Highlights progress and up-to-date information on the development of federal, state, and local food access policies
- Lifts up successful stories and examples of policy and practice in action for policymakers, advocates, and decision makers
- Offers information and tools for policy advocates to learn about promising policy models, build advocacy skills, and connect with other advocates across the country
- Offers resources and tools for food system entrepreneurs seeking to successfully plan, finance, and launch a range of healthy food business models—from grocery stores to food hubs to mobile markets.
Why Healthy Food Access Matters
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that 40 million people live in neighborhoods without easy access to fresh, affordable, and nutritious food options. This problem affects residents in both urban and rural parts of the US--it is estimated that 4.6 million people live in rural areas without access to a full service grocery store.
In many low-income neighborhoods and communities of color, the only places to buy food are fast-food and convenience stores that sell fatty, sugary, processed foods. Some rural areas have no food vendors of any kind. This lack of access to healthy food makes it difficult for families to eat well, fueling the rise in diet-related diseases and the high societal costs that accompany them. Businesses that can improve access to healthy foods and foster a more equitable and just food system are a crucial part of the solution to this problem.
Ensuring access to healthy food is an important element of an equitable food system, one in which those most vulnerable and those living in low-income neighborhoods, communities of color, and rural and tribal communities can fully participate, prosper, and benefit.