180749 Program and policy efforts to improve access to healthy food

Monday, October 27, 2008: 9:15 AM

Rajni Banthia, PhD , The PolicyLink Center for Health and Place, PolicyLink, Oakland, CA
Rebecca Flournoy, MPH , The PolicyLink Center for Health and Place, PolicyLink, Oakland, CA
Mary Lee, JD , The PolicyLink Center for Health and Place, PolicyLink, Oakland, CA
Many low-income communities and communities of color face an overabundance of unhealthy local food options, and limited access to stores or markets selling a good selection of high quality, affordable healthy food. Increasing public and political attention to the nation's obesity crisis has provided a window of opportunity for increasing access to healthy foods in underserved low-income communities. PolicyLink, a national non-profit research and action institute working to advance social and economic equity, has engaged in a range of research, technical assistance, policy development, and advocacy activities in recent years focused on improving healthy food access. This presentation will outline key insights from this work and make specific recommendations to assist groups undertaking this work across the country. Strategies for creatively and effectively addressing healthy food access will be described, based on: stakeholder interviews; convenings with food advocates, community-based organizations, economic development experts, business leaders, and other experts; experiences of local community-based groups such as the Healthy Eating, Active Communities (HEAC) coalitions; and local, state, and federal policy advocacy efforts. Audience members will be engaged in an interactive discussion of needed next steps in the growing movement to improve access to healthy food, including research needs, key partnerships, media outreach strategies, and promising policy opportunities.

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss three obstacles to program and policy efforts to increasing access to healthy foods. 2. Describe four promising policy approaches to improving access to healthy food in low-income, underserved communities. 3. Discuss the importance of local community perspectives in determining the appropriate approach to increasing local healthy food access.

Keywords: Food and Nutrition, Health Advocacy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a PolicyLink employee who has participated in activities described in the session.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.