In too many neighborhoods, local stores carry no fresh produce or other healthy options, but getting to healthy foods is dangerous and inconvenient due to unsafe walking conditions and lack of access to public transit or private vehicles.
The challenge is two-fold: too few stores sell healthy foods, while transportation to places selling nutritious foods is unsafe, inadequate, or both. This is not an isolated problem. Almost 20 percent of people in the United States experience significant transportation barriers to accessing healthy foods.
Local governments play an important role in making sure people can safely get to healthy food. This fact sheet outlines the role of local governments in improving walkable, bikeable, transit-accessible healthy food access, a concept known as Safe Routes to Healthy Food. The fact sheet offers examples from cities, towns, and counties across the country, and shares policy solutions that will support communities as they create or strengthen the transportation connections between neighborhoods and grocery stores.