Back in June, we made note of the fascinating in-progress findings of the comprehensive study being conducted by the APA into integrated food systems planning. Last week, the final report with the mouthful of a title, "Planning for Food Access and Community-Based Food Systems: A National Scan and Evaluation of Local Comprehensive and Sustainability Plans" [PDF], was published by the APA’s Planning and Community Health Research Center. The report includes the findings of an in-depth evaluation of 21 comprehensive and sustainability plans that address food policy, with recommendations for "planning a successful, sustainable, and healthy food system."
Most importantly, "the report provides a list of tools and strategies that local governments can use to integrate clear, comprehensive, and action-oriented food goals and policies into the plan-making process. It also includes examples of innovative plan language for other jurisdictions to adapt or adopt," writes Anna Ricklin, Manager of the APA’s Planning & Community Health Research Center.
"We all know that unless we are in a state of good health, our work, families, and communities suffer," says Ricklin. "Supporting healthy eating, therefore, becomes an issue of community development and social equity. For this reason, access to healthy, affordable, and culturally appropriate food is a key component for both a healthy, sustainable local food system and a healthy, sustainable community."