State & Local Policy Efforts

Las Vegas Healthy Food Access Policy

In 2013, in an effort to combat obesity in their city, the Las Vegas City Council passed a resolution that would increase access to healthy food options in underserved areas. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 34 percent of Las Vegas children and 60 percent of adults are obese or overweight. Through this resolution the city hopes to improve the quality of life and health benefits for residents as well encourage economic development within the community.

The City Council adopted the Food Access Policy and Planning Guide which presents key objectives for improving access to affordable and nutritious food. Future plans include the following:

  • Promoting opportunities to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables through the creation of community gardens and farmers markets
  • Avoiding concentrations of unhealthy food retailers and liquor stores within the city
  • Partnering with the Southern Nevada Health District to encourage operators of existing convenience stores to offer healthy food and fresh produce alternatives.
  • Utilizing economic development, land use, and other incentives to attract new retailers

Read the resolution, guide, and other supporting materials here.

Policy Efforts to Watch: City of Reno works with Washoe County Food Policy

In 2014, the City of Reno announced a plan to study healthy food access policy. The plan was intended to guide the City Planning Commission's efforts to research and identify planning and development policies to promote healthy food access and support local food production and sales. Interest in local, healthy food is fueling economic growth in the Reno area, and the Great Basin Community Food Co-op is one of the fastest growing co-ops in the country. Check out this article for additional information.

In the spring of 2015, the City of Reno launched a community-based effort to prepare a  new master plan to reflect its evolving community, called ReImagine Reno, to be developed over several years. An April 2016 draft of the updated plan includes local food access as a critical component of creating a safe, healthy, and inclusive community.

For a full understanding of Healthy Food Financing Initiatives from advocacy to implementation, see The Food Trust’s Healthy Food Financing Handbook.