Ensuring easy access to fresh, affordable, and nutritious food options

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.

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. See the featured resources below and explore the site to learn more about healthy food access and learn how you can make your local food system more equitable.

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.