Growing healthier food, and marketing it through local and regional food systems, are big steps in the right direction. But they will only provide a real solution to our food system problems if everyone has access to them.
Research has shown that diet-related health problems hit low-income communities hardest. People living in these communities often find it more difficult to buy healthy food than residents of more affluent neighborhoods; they may have few nearby food sources besides convenience stores and fast-food restaurants.
UCS is working with a variety of partners to bring the voices of these underserved communities to the forefront. Together we are advocating for common-sense policies to ensure access to affordable, healthy food for people at every income level.
One promising strategy is to leverage community institutions such as schools and hospitals. Stronger child nutrition policies can make schools reliable sources of healthy food for low-income students, while innovative Farm Bill programs are encouraging hospitals and health centers to partner with community groups on healthy food access as a public health initiative.