US Department of Health and Human Services

The department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Community Services website includes information on President Obama’s Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), a collaboration between the Department of Treasury, USDA, and HHS, that aims to bring healthy food to retail and corner stores in underserved areas across the country.  Find information on the HFFI here:

The HHS Office of Minority Health webpage provides data profiles related to diseases and obesity rates of Native American, African American, Hispanic, Asian American, and Pacific Islander populations. The website provides resources, background information on related policies and initiatives and tools, and you can search through data by population or health topic.           




PolicyLink provides resources such as webinars, case-studies, and toolkits on food access issues, including those specifically in communities of color, and includes resources that focus on the links between obesity and the environment, and healthy food retail models.


Food Research and Action Center (FRAC)

The FRAC data and publication page provides food hardship data by Congressional district and national, state and county-by-county SNAP participation data from across the US, and also has several reports on US poverty with data provided by the US Census Bureau. Their Legislative Action Center provides resources and advocacy tools to fight hunger, tools to promote anti-hunger policies in the 2012 Farm Bill, and an overview and updates on budget issues affecting anti-hunger legislation.

Roots of Change

Roots of Change is a network in California whose goal is to establish a more sustainable food system by 2030. The issues they focus on include economic prosperity, environment and climate, healthy food access, and valued workforce. On their Healthy Food Access website, there are resources for non-profits, entrepreneurs, and farmers and ranchers.

Convergence Partnership

The Convergence Partnership website includes resources, webinars, toolkits, and reports on topics such as access to healthy food, healthy environments, federal policy, and advocacy. The Convergence Partnership steering committee includes representatives from The California Endowment, Kaiser Permanente, Kresge Foundation, Nemours, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention serve as technical advisors, PolicyLink is the committee's program director, and the Prevention Institute provides policy research, analysis and strategic support.

Leadership for Healthy Communities

The Leadership for Healthy Communities Priority Populations website, which specifically focuses on African American, Latino-Hispanic, American Indian, Asia/Pacific Islander and lower income, includes reports, tools, and fact sheets on childhood obesity. The Leadership For Healthy Communities website also includes city, county, state and federal profiles of political leaders across the country that have been proponents of making their community a healthier place.,com_advancedtags/view,tag/id,6/Itemid,78/

American Public Health Association (APHA)

The APHA resource page for Minority Health offers a vast range of resources, reports and studies, and organizations related to African American, Hispanic, Asian, and American Indian populations and obesity.

Healthy Food For All: Building Equitable and Sustainable Food Systems in Detroit and Oakland

PolicyLink, Fair Food Network, and the CS Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems at Michigan State University co-authored this report that assesses the current food system environment in Detroit and Oakland. It looks at resident’s habits, concerns and interests in food, as well as the organizational infrastructure in place to improve access to healthy foods, and outlines the major challenges and opportunities to building a more sustainable food system.


Examining the Impact of Food Deserts on Public Health in Chicago

The Mari Gallagher Research and Consulting Group released this report which measures the distance from every Chicago city block to the nearest grocery store and fast-food restaurant and compares food access and residents’ available food choices with health outcomes, while looking at race, income and education. This website link also has reports on Birmingham, Alabama; Savannah, Georgia; Boston Massachusetts; and Detroit, Michigan.

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.

Why Place and Race Matter

PolicyLink and The California Endowment collaborated on this report which looks at the impact of race on health disparities through city specific examples, develops a framework for building healthy and equitable communities specifically within economic, social, physical and service environments, and provides advocacy tools used to change public policies that disproportionally impact people of color.

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.

Designed for Disease: The Link Between Local Food Environments and Obesity and Diabetes

PolicyLink, in collaboration with the California Center for Public Health Advocacy and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, look at the connections between retail food environments, obesity, diabetes and community income.

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.