Cities have powerful planning, economic development, and public relations tools that can be used to attract healthy food to underserved neighborhoods. Cities are putting these tools to use to attract healthy food retail and to support and protect community gardens and farmers’ markets. This is described in the Campaign's factsheet Be a City with Healthy Food Choices.
Healthy Eating Active Living Cities Campaign Resolution has model language to declare your city a HEAL City and establish your policy goals in the area of access to healthy food.
Attract retailers that offer fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy staple items
To attract grocery stores, produce markets, and corner stores with fruits and vegetables is a complex endeavor that requires collaboration with community partners. The city’s role in this partnership is to coordinate and focus its economic development, planning, financing, permitting and, if applicable, redevelopment tools and assets to attract and support healthy food retail.
Support Community Gardens
These lively neighborhood destinations can provide affordable produce to residents, neighborhood green space and places for physical activity. Cities can support and promote community gardens by defining them in their general plan and zoning code.
Support Farmers’ Markets
Cities can support local agriculture and bring healthy food to residents by defining farmers’ markets in the general plan and zoning code and encouraging them to accept the electronic benefit transfer card (EBT) and WIC coupons.