Prescriptions as Incentives to Purchase Produce

Last month Unity Health Care Upper Cardozo in Washington, DC, began writing prescriptions for $1 per family member per day to be spent at any of five participating District farmers markets. Similar incentive programs are gaining popularity nationally.

Pop-Up Grocery Store Model Expanding Nationally

From San Francisco to Seattle and Chicago, pop-up grocery stores are providing healthy options to low-income consumers in food deserts. Studies show that they can be successful in changing eating habits if quality is proritized and health education is provided.

If You Build It Will They Come? There is More to Fixing Food Deserts Than Building Grocery Stores, Including Satisfaction of Shopping Experience

Shoppers not only care about cost and proximity to fresh produce, they also want choice and quality.  A study of nearly 500 residents in six low-income Chicago neighborhoods showed an increase of approximately twofold in the likelihood of consuming three or more fruits and vegetables daily per consumers’ level of satisfaction of the shopping environment.

Green for Greens: Finding Public Financing for Healthy Food Retail

The National Policy and Legal Analysis Network to Prevent Childhood Obesity releases a guide on where to find public money for projects that bring healthy food to low-income neighborhoods with real-world examples and ways to identify and get funds for your community’s proposal.


Everybody at the Table for Health (EAT4Health) is a three-year national leadership development initiative to encourage the federal food policy advocacy ecosystem to be more inclusive of low-income and people of color communities, responsive to grassroots needs and ideas and effective in strengthening community well-being.  Visit EAT4Health’s website to learn more about this initiative and how community-based organizing groups and national advocacy organizations can apply for funding.

Access to Healthy Food Toolkit

PolicyLink introduces four tools addressing Access to Healthy Food in their Equitable Development Toolkit: Grocery Store Development, Corner Stores, Farmers’ Markets, and Urban Agriculture and Community Gardens. These tools address efforts focused on serving low-income communities and communities of color to increase access to healthy, fresh, affordable food.

Fair Food Network

Fair Food Network is a non-profit, based in Ann Arbor Michigan, that is focused on building a more sustianable and just food system. Their resource page includes food access related links to reports, case studies, and policy and advocacy tools.

The Reinvestment Fund

The Reinvestment Fund looks at financing and research initiatives that aim to increase access to healthy food in low-income communities. Their resources section includes reports on supermarket access, corner store financing and research and funding opportunities, including the Fresh Food Financing Initiative, and a new map tracking food access data across the US.

Access to Affordable and Nutritious Food: Measuring and Understanding Food Deserts and their Consequences: Report to Congress 2009

This USDA Economic Research Service report presents findings from a one year study used to determine the problems of limited food access, considers the effects of limited access on local populations, and outlines recommendations for how to address the problem.

Food Expenditures and Diet Among Low-income Households and Individuals

This 2010 Mathematica report by Laura Castner and James Mabli looks at low-income populations’ spending patterns in 2005, specifically comparing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) income with those that are eligible for SNAP but do not use it.

Missed Opportunity: Transit Jobs in Metropolitan America

This report, from the Brookings Institute, profiles transportation in 100 cities across the US and provides background on factors that influence the efficiency of transportation in those areas, and looks at how transportation connects people to jobs in low-income communities.

Food Desert to Food Oasis

This July 2010 report, from the Community Health Councils, provides policy recommendations for the community to establish full-service grocery stores in underserved areas and looks opportunities to promote grocery store development in South Los Angeles.