Urban Design Lab

Urban Design Lab is a joint collaboration between the Laboratory of the Earth Institute and the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Prevention at Columbia University. Their research projects look at an integrated regional foodshed in the Northeast and use data to analyze processing and transportation systems while increasing access to fresh food. 


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: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs/ocs_food.html

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. 



Public Health Law and Policy (PHLP)

PHLP’s document library covers a range of topics related to food access; including healthy planning, farmers markets, healthy retail, childhood obesity, economic development, joint use agreements, mobile vending and produce carts, legislation, menu labeling and redevelopment.


WHY Hunger

The WHY Hunger resource page includes reports on hunger, advocacy tools, federal nutrition policy tools, and farm to school program models. Their resource directory is a searchable database of food pantries, health care services, economic development resources and anti poverty organizations. Their Food Security Learning Center page includes information on a wide variety of food access topics such as farm to school, land use planning, local and regional food systems, and climate change.


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.


Center for Disease Control (CDC)

The CDC has many resource pages related to food access centered on Obesity, Transportation and Food Access – which includes resources on food-related transportation in low income communities, and Healthy Food Environments -  and includes a variety of food access-related resources on community gardens, farmers markets, food policy councils and farmland protection. Resource pages provide fact sheets on various topics, and also include reports and white papers.



USDA Community Food Security Projects

The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Community Food Project Grants attempt to increase food security in communities across the US through community gardens, youth/school gardening projects, promoting local food purchases, and food access and outreach. The report, “The Activities and Impacts of Community Food Projects 2005-2009” captures broad outcomes from the 307 CFPs funded between 2005 and 2009.


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.


Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

The Department of Housing and Urban Development addresses local and regional food systems by funding programs that support local planning that is designed to integrate affordable housing, good jobs and public transportation.




Cornell Greenhouse Horticulture

This website covers issues related to greenhouses such as crops and gardening resources, structures and equipment, pest management, and business planning and marketing. The business and marketing resource page provides examples of a greenhouse enterprise budget and other financial tools.


USDA Food Environmental Atlas

The recently updated USDA Food Atlas is designed to provide a spatial overview of a community’s ability to access healthy food and currently assembles 168 indicators of the food environment, up from the original 90 indicators of food access. The measures include factors such as availability of food stores and restaurants, food prices, socioeconomic characteristics, and health outcomes. 


Food Access Solutions to Create Healthy Counties

This policy brief by the National Association of Counties (NACO) outlines five strategies that county leaders can implement to increase residents’ access to healthy and affordable foods in urban and rural areas.  This provides specific examples of policy and innovations from different areas around the country in regards to the five strategies as well as resources. 


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.



Healthier Communities Through Redevelopment: Rebuilding Neighborhoods for Better Nutrition and Active Living

This report from Public Health Law & Policy’s National Policy and Legal Analysis Network to Prevent Childhood Obesity (NPLAN) program covers general practices and tools used by redevelopment agencies specifically revolving around the issues of healthy food access, physical activity, air quality, and healthy schools.


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.


USDA Food Environmental Atlas

The recently updated USDA Food Environmetal Atlas is designed to provide a spatial overview of a community’s ability to access healthy food and currently assembles 168 indicators of the food environment, up from the original 90 indicators of food access. The measures include factors such as availability of food stores and restaurants, food prices, socioeconomic characteristics, and health outcomes. 



Center for Disease Control 2011 Food Environment Indicator Report

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a new report, the 2011 Children’s Food Environment State Indicator Report, which identifies behaviors, environments and policies that affect childhood obesity. The CDC also released a National Action Guide which provides potential actions that state leaders, community-based organizations, and professional can take to support the purchase and consumption of more healthy food.