Healthy Policy

Food Systems

Food Systems Briefs

The Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development now offers briefs of select scholarly papers

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New Resource for Beginning Farmers

USDA now offers in depth information on conservation, land and capital, and management tools for new farmers

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Farm to Food Bank Study

A new study identifies key barriers to and successful strategies for connecting local farms and food banks

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Food Expenditure Data

Check out this map showing how much each country spends on food per capita

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Healthy Food Access

Access is an essential first step in empowering consumers to purchase and consume healthy foods. Healthy foods must be affordable, plentiful, and easily obtained to be considered accessible.  Households unable to obtain enough food to live healthy and active lives through socially acceptable means are defined as “food insecure.”

Access to healthy food is identified by a number of factors:

  • Physical- Do I live close to a food source or have consistent transportation to reach one?
  • Financial- Can I afford the food?
  • Nutritional- Is enough food available to provide me with a balanced diet?
  • Cultural- Am I familiar with the food and is it consistent with my traditions?

Individual stores, local food assistance programs, community support, and federal programs are all critical to providing an accessible healthy food environment.  Here you will find tools and resources for promoting access in a variety of settings.

Healthy Food Retail
Depending on the community, healthy food retail could include full-service grocers, farmers’ markets, produce stands, Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs), mobile vending, and more. Read more.

Community Food Assistance
Community, or non-profit, food assistance programs include food banks and pantries, senior meal programs, meal delivery services, faith-based food programs, and more local efforts. They guarantee access to food for those who experience the greatest food insecurity. Read more.

Federal Food Assistance
Federal food assistance programs include all school food programs, SNAP, WIC, CACFP, TEFAP, OAA, and more.  These programs are managed and funded through the USDA, and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) though some programs require state matches.  Eligibility requirements vary between programs, but many are underutilized by eligible Colorado residents. Read more.


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