About the Issue

Stopping by the grocery store whenever we need is something that many of us take for granted, but for nearly 30 million people living in neighborhoods across America with limited access to healthy foods, that trip to the grocery store is anything but easy.

In urban communities, residents walk out their front doors and see nothing but fast food and convenience stores selling processed foods high in fat, sodium, and sugar and low in nutrition. Rural residents face long drives to purchase healthy food.

All too often, families in these areas can’t find healthy foods like apples, green beans, or lean meats—and that puts them at greater risk of chronic diseases that are already far too prevalent, such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers.

There is a solution to this problem: healthy food financing. Healthy food financing programs create public-private partnerships that can increase access to healthy foods and spur economic development. Studies show that the closer we live to neighborhood supermarkets, the more likely we are to have healthier lives and lower body weight as well.

Through one-time loans and grants, healthy food financing would overcome barriers in underserved areas and help create or develop healthy food stores—places that often lead to jobs for residents and serve as magnets for other retail operations, banks, and service providers that can contribute much-needed tax revenues.

Throughout this toolkit, you will find helpful information for building out your own advocacy efforts aimed at ensuring all kids and families have access to healthy foods. Together, with our policy leaders, we can work to make sure that What’s in Store™ for our communities, and especially our children, is access to the foods we all need to grow up strong and stay healthy.