Access to Healthy Food: A Guide for Delaware Local Governments

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Institute for Public Administration
Why are some individuals healthier than others? Social determinants of health—conditions where people live, work, and play—affect a wide range of quality of life outcomes. Poorly designed physical environments, sedentary lifestyles, and inadequate nutrition can all impact a person’s health. Our communities need basic elements to support health equity for all people. These elements include access to nutritious food, a quality education, good jobs, affordable housing, equitable health care, parks and recreation, and dependable transportation. Local governments (i.e., towns, cities, and counties) are recognizing the need to plan for, design, and implement policies to foster healthy and complete communities. Attention has focused on improving the built environment to foster walkable-, bikeable-, and transit-friendly communities; planning to address sprawling land use patterns; and advancing Complete Streets for people of all ages and abilities. Traditionally, food insecurity has been regarded as a public health issue. Recently, local governments have become more attentive to address and incorporate healthy food access as part of local public policy agendas. This guide recognizes the important role that Delaware local governments can play in improving access to healthy food. Comprehensive plans and community design, policies and regulatory tools, and local partnerships are key strategies that can be utilized by Delaware local governments.
healthy foods, town planning, health equity, health policy