Increase community access to fresh and healthy food by creating a vibrant food system. Many residents live in "food deserts" where resident are more than one mile from fresh and healthy food. In Phoenix there are 43 food deserts which are more than 75% of the total number of food deserts in Maricopa County. By increasing neighborhood access to fresh and healthy food will improve community health and reduce diet-related disease.
By 2050, we want to establish a sustainable, healthy, equitable, local food system by eliminating food deserts, increasing urban agriculture, establishing farmers markets in each of the city's urban villages, and significantly reducing the rates of hunger, obesity, and diet-related disease.
New Report Released
The Maricopa County Food System Coalition (MarCo) has released a new report outlining key issues that are critical to understanding the barriers and opportunities for improving the local food system in the region. The June 23, 2018, Building Community Networks through Community Food report by Ken Meter, a recognized food system analyst, was commissioned by MarCo through a grant received from the Gila River Indian Community and in collaboration with the City of Phoenix.
What are we doing now?
Developing a Phoenix Food Action Plan
Extensive community and stakeholder engagement was initiated in 2018 and continues. The Office of Environmental Programs is the City's goal leader and is currently presenting the draft Plan framework and recommendations to Village Planning Committees in April and May 2019. A final plan will be prepared in 2019.
OEP continues to collaborate with the Health Improvement Partnership of Maricopa County (HIP-MC), the Valley of the Sun United Way, and the Maricopa County Food System Coalition (MarCo) on development of the food action plan.
Transforming Community Health through Sustainable Development
Phoenix's Office of Environmental Programs was awarded a $400,000 community-wide brownfields assessment grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for
the Phoenix Brownfields to Healthfields Project. The overall goal of the project is to remove hazardous substances and pollutants from identified brownfield properties and to redevelop these properties for uses that improve public health. Proposed reuses include, healthcare facilities, clinics (permanent and mobile), healthy food outlets; supermarkets, temporary food retailers, mobile markets, food hubs, farmer's markets, urban agriculture (including aquaponics, hydroponics, controlled environment, community and school gardens).