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Nutrition: Strategies and Resources

Increase Access to Healthy Foods and Beverages

Initiatives to increase access to healthier foods and beverages in retail venues can improve existing stores, encourage placement of new stores, improve transportation access to healthier food retailers and/or implement comprehensive in-store markets and promotion.

Provide access to healthier food retail (grocery stores, small stores, farmers markets, bodegas, and mobile food retail)

Healthier food retail (HFR) initiatives can help increase peoples' access to places that sell healthier foods and beverages in underserved areas, including grocery stores, small stores, farmers markets, bodegas, or mobile food retail. Initiatives can involve creating new food retail outlets that sell healthier foods; improving the quality, variety, and amount of healthier foods and beverages at existing stores; or promoting and marketing healthier foods and beverages to the consumer.

Resources

	Older couple at farmers market

Program Highlights
  • Current Practices in Healthy Food Retail: Small Stores [PDF-2.49MB]
    The practices highlighted in this document demonstrate ways to increase the availability of healthy foods and beverages by using public health strategies that focus on small stores.
  • Improving Retail Access for Fruits and Vegetables [PDF-241KB]
    Food can be sold at a variety of retail venues in a community. To increase fruit and vegetable consumption by community members, it is important to improve access to these venues and to increase the availability of high-quality, affordable fruits and vegetables sold at these locations. This document highlights a few states' work in this area.
Intervention Examples
  • Baltimore Healthy Stores
    Baltimore Healthy Stores (BHS) uses a store's existing facilities to improve access to healthier food and to increase consumers' knowledge, self-efficacy, and behavioral intentions about healthier food choices and food preparation. This is done through health education and point-of-purchase marketing strategies
  • Healthy Cornerstore Initiative Produce Distribution System
    The Healthy Cornerstore Initiative increases access to fresh fruits and vegetables in corner stores by linking small stores with produce distributors on a year-round basis.
  • Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative (FFFI)
    The Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative (FFFI) is a policy-level intervention designed to increase access to affordable, quality healthful foods in underserved areas of the state. The program provides critical one-time loans and grants for the development, expansion, or renovation of fresh food retail establishments, such as supermarkets or grocery stores. The FFFI also creates steady jobs for community members living in economically distressed areas.

Provide access to farmers markets

A farmers market is a recurring gathering of farmers selling their food products directly to consumers. Other produce markets may include wholesalers and retailers, rather than just farmers. These markets can be held on public or private land, in temporary or permanent structures, or may even be mobile. They may be set up in community locations, health clinics, places of worship, schools, hospitals, and workplaces; and can include locally or regionally grown items and fresh produce.

Program Highlights
  • Current Practices in Developing and Supporting Farmers’ Markets [PDF-2.53MB]
    This document highlights efforts by five state health departments to increase access to healthy foods through farmers’ markets.
  • Farm-To-Where-You-Are [PDF-225KB]
    Farm-to-where-you-are programs promote the delivery of regionally grown farm produce to community institutions, farmers markets, and individuals.
  • Texas: Connecting Farmers and Workplaces [PDF-848KB]
    The Texas Farm-to- Work program increases access to fresh fruits and vegetables in the work environment by providing a weekly opportunity for purchase and delivery of fresh produce from local farmers. The program's primary focus is to promote individual and group behavior change by modifying the work environment to increase access, availability, purchases, and use of healthy fruits and vegetables from local farms.
Intervention Examples
  • Cleveland-Cuyahoga Food Policy Council
    The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Food Policy Coalition was formed to help support public and private policy-based changes that foster a healthier food system in Cleveland and surrounding Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
  • Health Bucks
    The Health Bucks program helps residents of low-income neighborhoods increase their opportunity to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables by providing a financial incentive for use at participating farmers markets.
  • Health Bucks Evaluation Toolkit [PDF-8MB]
    A Health Bucks evaluation toolkit was created to assist farmers' market incentive programs in designing and implementing evaluations. The tools can be adapted for incentive programs of various sizes, and can be scaled to guide both small and large evaluations depending on available resources.

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Promote Adoption of the Food Service Guidelines or Other Nutrition Standards

The Food Service Guidelines (FSG) or nutrition standards are guidelines for organizations or programs to create healthy eating and drinking environments in government-managed cafeterias, snack bars, and vending machines. The guidelines can be applied to non-government settings as well, including universities, hospitals, or worksite cafeteria or vending settings. Use of pricing incentives, promotional materials, or food placement strategies is important for guideline implementation.

Implement nutrition standards/food services guidelines in priority settings (Early Care and Education, Workplaces, Communities)

Resources
Program Highlights
Intervention Examples

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General Nutrition Resources

Links to non-federal government organizations found in this document are provided solely as a service to the reader. These links do not constitute an endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the federal government, and none should be inferred. CDC is not responsible for the content of the individual organization sites listed on this website.

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