This report evaluates current local comprehensive and sustainability plans across the United States and their impact on local policies, regulations, and standards to reduce food access disparities and improve community-based foods systems. Of 888 local government responses to a national web-based survey, only 11.8 percent of respondents (105 jurisdictions) indicated that their local plans address an aspect of local or regional food systems. Researchers also evaluated a sample of comprehensive and sustainability plans to assess their quality and food-related components and conducted case study research to learn more about the plan making process. Overall, the plans included clearly marked food components, but the quality of the language varied within and across plans. The report also discusses planning and policy lessons learned as well as recommendations for municipalities and counties related to food access and food systems planning.
Planning for Food Access and Community-Based Food Systems: A National Scan and Evaluation of Local Comprehensive and Sustainability Plans
Low-income, underserved communities are often plagued with unhealthy food environments. A community’s comprehensive plan directly influences urban design and land-use regulations, which affect neighborhood food availability. While some local governments are including food access goals and policies in their local plans, little is understood about the quality, specificity and comprehensiveness … More
The Impact of Increasing SNAP Benefits on Stabilizing the Economy, Reducing Poverty and Food Insecurity amid COVID-19 Pandemic
With unemployment currently at a record high as a result of COVID-19, participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is expected to increase significantly. Congress has already passed three COVID-19 aid bills, which include SNAP provisions such as funding for emergency benefits for SNAP households and program administrative flexibilities. … More
Federal food programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) are the first line of defense against food insecurity in the United States. However, these benefits are often not sufficient to meet all of the food needs of … More