Strategies and Action Steps

Intro to Access to Healthy Foods



Eliminate Food Deserts

Work to eliminate food deserts.

  1. Work with Arkansas Economic Development Commission to address and incentivize access to healthy foods (gas stations, convenience stores, discount outlets, groceries.)
  2. Promote nutrition education in retail food outlets.
  3. Educate policy-and decision-makers about access issues.
  4. Identify local resources that can be utilized for food distribution (buildings, people and money)
  5. Develop local partnerships to ensure food outlets are making the healthy choice the easy choice.

Grow More Food

Expand local garden projects, small farms, farmers’ markets and gleaning programs.

  1. Expand participation in University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension and Arkansas Agriculture Department’s MarketMaker and Arkansas Grown programs.
  2. Increase the number of farmers and stakeholders participating in gleaning programs.
  3. Establish a farm-to-school program with a full-time program coordinator.
  4. Expand number of school and community gardens.
  5. Establish a mechanism for developing local farmers’ markets and mobile markets.
  6. Collaborate to educate and assist the state-up of small farm operations.
  7. Create mechanisms to facilitate growth of urban farming.

Feed More People

Increase participation in nutrition assistance programs.

  1. Increase participation in all USDA food programs.
  2. Increase the number of farmers’ markets accepting EBT, WIC, etc.
  3. Increase participation in farmers’ markets by removing barriers and improving access.

Teach People About Food

Use evidence-based nutrition education programs.

  1. Increase awareness of need for nutrition education among key stakeholders (faith-based organizations, school and community leaders, parents, food outlets, businesses, etc.)
  2. Increase participation in community-based resources/programs such as Cooking Matters, Cooking Matters at the Store, SNAP-Ed, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program.
  3. Increase training opportunities in nutrition education for care givers (older adults, chronic diseases, etc.)
  4. Mandate statewide comprehensive pre-K-12 nutrition education.
  5. Integrate nutrition education into core content areas.
  6. Ensure inclusion of nutrition courses as degree requirements for education majors.
  7. Strengthen requirement for licensure in early child care settings to include nutrition standards and nutrition education.
  8. Educate after-school program providers in nutrition and nutrition education.
  9. Require federal and state funded after-school programs to meet nutrition standards.

Teach Health Care Providers About Healthy Food

Educate health care professionals and cross-functional hospital teams in nutrition education and about access to healthy food.

  1. Ensure integration of nutrition assessment, lifestyle modification and the role of nutrition and physical activity in disease management and prevention in medical school and allied health curricula and continuing education opportunities.
  2. Assist with best practices in establishing hospital-based food pantries.
  3. Develop programs to link access to food and nutrition education to health care teams.

Healthy Food Policies

Expand current public policies to assure inclusion of healthy foods, such as increasing state food-purchasing program to include fresh fruits and vegetables for distribution to low-income Arkansans.

Team Objectives

Visit the Progress Tracker to learn about this Priority Area’s objectives.

The Team

The Access to Healthy Foods priority is led by Emily English of Arkansas Children’s and Janie Ginocchio of the Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care. Their team features members from the following groups: American Heart Association, Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention, Arkansas Department of Health, Arkansas Farmers Market Association, Arkansas Hospital Association, Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, Arkansas State University, University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Fay W. Boozeman College of Public Health and Winthrop Rockefeller Institute.

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Priority 6 Team Basecamp


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