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Regional Food Access

Target: By 2027, reduce by half the number of census tracts where residents are low-income, lack vehicle access, are a certain distance from a healthy food outlet, and availability of healthy food is low.

Background: Residents in low-income neighborhoods may face more barriers to accessing healthy food options; they may travel further to reach healthy food outlets or may not have the economic means to afford healthy food options. The Food Access Working Group recognizes that grocery stores are only one source of healthy food, and others include, but are not limited to, farmers markets, community-supported agriculture, neighborhood gardens, and mobile markets.

Structure: The St. Louis Food Policy Coalition—a group of individuals and organizations working to promote a thriving local food system that supports the health, community, environment, and economy of the St. Louis region—convenes the Food Access working Group.

Activities: The St. Louis Food Policy Coalition holds regular meetings to discuss strategies to improve local Food Access.
They identified the following priority strategies:

  • Increase capacity and awareness of alternative food retail models.
  • Work with grocery stores to address community concerns.
  • Increase food production in North St. Louis.
  • Increase knowledge of healthy food, where to buy it, how to afford it, and how to cook it.
  • Establish baseline data for healthy food outlets in low-income census tracts.

For more information on specific actions being taken on addressing food access, visit the website of the St. Louis Food Policy Coalition.