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
On March 21, 2018 the Phoenix Office of Environmental Programs received approval from the Sustainability, Housing, Efficiency, and Neighborhoods City Council Subcommittee to enter into a partnership 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) to collaborate on development of the food action plan.
A draft framework will be developed with input from the community and stakeholders in the food system. Extensive community engagement will begin in April with the goal to complete a draft plan by Fall 2018.
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).