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Transportation and Food Access

A poor transportation system cuts off access to many food outlets—especially for those who do not own a car or have no access to reliable and affordable public transportation. Improving transportation options to and from such food sources as supermarkets and farmers’ markets increases a community's access to healthy foods. Transportation improvements may include increasing bus routes to food retailers and supermarket-sponsored shuttle services.

Resource Library/ White Papers

Prevention Institute. Founded in 1997 to address complex health and social issues, the Prevention Institute’s goal is to move beyond approaches that target one person at a time, and create systematic, comprehensive strategies that will change the conditions that affect community health. Available at:

The Prevention Institute’s Strategic Alliance Enact seeks to improve transportation options to supermarkets and other large food outlets. Available at:

Transportation and food: the importance of access. A Policy Brief of the Center for Food and Justice, Urban and Environmental Policy Institute, 2002. Available at: [PDF - 58 KB].

Homeward bound: food-related transportation strategies in low-income and transit dependent communities. Community Food Security Coalition. The report recommends that to address successfully food access as more than only a question of community food security, food access needs to become part of transportation planning—not just food system planning. Examples of transportation policies for access to healthy food include Food Transport and Public Transit from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Available at: [PDF - 37.9MB].

McCann B. Community design for healthy eating: how land use and transportation solutions can help. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Fall 2006. Available at:

University of California Davis. Supermarket shuttle programs: a feasibility study for supermarkets located in low-income, transit dependent, urban neighborhoods in California. Center for Advanced Studies in Nutrition and Social Marketing, November 2002. Available at:

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