Food variety implies consuming a large variety of foods from the five different food
groups in the required amounts. Consuming a variety of foods aids in the maintenance of an
interesting and healthy diet which allows for the provision of different nutrients required in the
body. The variety of foods helps in the promotion of good health and enables a reduction of any
risks that are disease related (Hurn, 2018). There are key pointers to a good health pertaining to
food consumption such as; eating a wide range of foods that are healthy help in the prevention of
It is required that one should eat the well-balanced diet in varying amounts of foods from
among the five food groups on a daily basis in the amounts that are recommended. The third
pointer is that it is important for one to make the selection on a variety of foods from each food
group. For this reason,, therefore, there are several policies that have been initiated to enable
these important factors to be put into practice. This paper aims at defining these policies and
illustrating clearly the various means by which access to healthy foods can be maintained to all
With the advancements which are taking place rapidly in the community, engagement of
stakeholders is widely seen as an important methodology that can be applied in the journey of
improving the access of healthy foods in the community. While many sectors are keen on
engaging the stakeholders regarding genomic policy issues, one important field of agriculture
should not be neglected as have been the case in the previous scenarios (Hurn, 2018). There is a
wide divergence with respect to the levels at which the stakeholders can be engaged and the
outcomes from such engagements are substantial.
IMPROVING ACCESS TO HEALTHY FOODS 3
It has been discovered that access to large grocery stores raises the volume of fruit as well
as vegetable intake while ease of access to convenience stores decreases the intake. The minority
who live in the Rural with low income have a limited access to supermarkets and foods that are
healthful but they have an advantage in the sense that their access to convenience stores is
increased. Foods that are high in calorie but low in nutrients are often found in such stores
(Minkler, 2018). With the increasing importance of healthy foods being recognized, food
programs that are innovative are increasingly becoming popular.
Initiatives are put in place such as suburban farms, the collaboration between backyard
vegetable gardens and local food banks and community gardens are executed to increase the
access to healthy foods. These are all ideas that are aimed at providing solutions to the
inadequacy in the access to fresh fruit vegetables. The cities and state land use policies which in
the long run affect such programs in one way or the other. These effects are ultimately seen in
the health of the children and in particular the populations that are vulnerable (Minkler, 2018).
The effects are clearly visible and can be observed.
There are a few things that the policymakers can do to curb these effects. The first
solution to this menace is to incentivize groceries moving into underserved communities. This
effort leads to food costs that are lower and more choices are put in place for the nutritious foods.
The incentive can equally create job opportunities and reenergizes the neighborhoods (Minkler,
2018). One such initiative already in place is Fresh Food Financing Initiative which is a private
partnership that provides loans and grants to aid food retailers in restocking and building their
In this manner, access to more fresh foods is promoted. Another initiative that the
policymakers can adopt is providing tax credits to other retailers for offering fresh foods and
IMPROVING ACCESS TO HEALTHY FOODS 4
vegetables. By making the providence of fresh foods, the retailers are enabled to access healthy
foods in a community and at the same time assisting in the offsetting of the cost which is
associated with transporting fresh foods. An example of where such an initiative has worked is in
the District of Colombia where there is the Healthy Corner Store program and is supported by
D.C (Mozaffarian, 2018). This program supports corner groceries by enabling them to expand
their capacity to make sales of healthy foods and therefore enabling them to increase their profits
and meeting the needs of the community that are unmet.
The Policymakers can equally see into it that there is the provision of state funding for
farmers markets. By giving incentives to the local farmers who avail the market to the
underserved communities, the states can expand an access to the healthy foods which are
produced by the farmers while giving support to the local farms. The markets of the farmers have
equally proven to make an increment of the revenue to the businesses that are run locally within
the community (Mozaffarian, 2018). Supporting local food policies is the other way through
which the policymakers can improve access to healthy foods.
This initiative not only promotes an access to healthy food for the children and the local
community but also boosts the local economy. Food efforts done locally can include the
development of food policy councils which aids in the advancement of the availability of the
healthy foods that have been grown locally and at the same time financing the infrastructure
development and initiating local food campaigns (Rice, 2018). An example of such laws is
Illinois Food, Farms, and Jobs Act, which affirmed that by 2020, 20 percent of all the foods that
are purchased by Illinois will be produced from the state.
In conclusion, there are three important ways to improve access to healthy foods which
the policies cover. The first way is to enforce mobile markets. The second way is that the food
IMPROVING ACCESS TO HEALTHY FOODS 5
policies that directly impact people should be strengthened. Actions for developing community
and school gardens and institutional farms should be initiated (Rice, 2018). The farmer's markets
should be expanded and supported and the community should support agriculture in the best way
possible as well as farm – to farm institutions. By doing this, access to healthy foods will be
IMPROVING ACCESS TO HEALTHY FOODS 6
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(draft dated 12 December 2017).
Minkler, M., Estrada, J., Thayer, R., Juachon, L., Wakimoto, P., & Falbe, J. (2018). Bringing
healthy retail to urban “food swamps”: A case study of CBPR-informed policy and
neighborhood change in San Francisco. Journal of Urban Health, 1-9.
Mozaffarian, D., Rosenberg, I., & Uauy, R. (2018). History of modern nutrition
science—implications for current research, dietary guidelines, and food policy. bmj, 361, k2392.
Rice, L., Benson, C., Podrabsky, M., & Otten, J. J. (2018). The development and adoption of the
first statewide comprehensive policy on food service guidelines (Washington State Executive
Order 13-06) for improving the health and productivity of state employees and institutionalized
populations. Translational Behavioral Medicine.