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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 - convened the Food Access Working Group.

Activities: Upon forming the group, the St. Louis Food Policy Coalition identified the prioirty trategies below. Most recently, in 2022 and 2023, members of the Food Access Working Group collaborated on the City of St. Louis Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) Accelerator Plan

  • 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.

What you can do:

  • Check out resources in the OneSTL Toolkit, such as the Urban Agriculture and Community Gardens tools. 
  • Volunteer with (in no particular order) St. Louis MetroMarket, City Greens Market, United People Market, the Link Market, A Red Circle - all entities selling fresh, local food in areas of limited food access.
  • Email Melissa Vatterott, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., to learn if there is a food access project of the St. Louis Food Policy Coalition that you could get involved in.

The following organizations Support* or Commit** to assisting with this Target.

Bi-State Development**
MBS Urban Initiaves CDE, LLC*   
Global Products, Inc**
Renew Missouri*
Sitton Energy Solutions*
Washington University in St. Louis*   
University City, MO*
Linda Goldstein Consulting*   
The Nature Conservancy in Missouri*
Heartlands Conservancy*
Thomas Dun Learning Center**
St. Louis Food Policy Coalition**
Missouri Coalition for the Environment**
Citizens for Modern Transit*
US Green Building Council - Missouri Gateway Chapter*
Willoughby Heritage Farm and Conservation Reserve**
International Society of Sustainability Professionals StL Chapter**
Green Dining Alliance / St. Louis Earth Day**
Nine Network of Public Media**