We thank the USDA for undertaking this thorough study. Much of it verifies what we already knew - that for millions of people in low-income communities, access to fresh and healthy food is limited.
Now it’s time for action. What is needed is a set of coordinated, community based activities across the country, including outreach to existing corner stores, incentives for locating new retail stores, public transportation improvements, farmers’ markets development, nutrition education, and other activities to improve food access.
Supporting successful programs that address inequitable food access - from the development of a network of farmers’ markets that serves the nearly 80,000 mostly low-income residents of Camden, New Jersey, to the remarkable work in Black Hawk County, Iowa, where local producers work together to make fresh, healthy and local food available to restaurants, retirement homes, and universities while generating millions of dollars of sales - is the beginning. Continuing efforts like these requires national support and leadership to ensure healthy food choices are accessible in all communities.