Increasing access to healthy food is major issue in the U.S. and a key focus for many of the Plan4Health coalitions.
Plan4Health Tarrant County, from Fort Worth, Texas, is thinking of creative ways to increase access to healthy foods in an area where many residents live within identified food deserts with high numbers of unhealthy food options. These same areas are also known to have higher prevalence of chronic diseases, including diabetes and obesity. One approach to addressing these issues is making changes to city ordinances and codes to allow mobile produce vendors in to neighborhoods, giving them access to healthier options, like locally grown fruits and vegetables. The ordinance in question would allow for fresh produce sales in residential areas on property used for nonresidential purposes, such as schools and churches.
Linda Fulmer, executive director of Healthy Tarrant County, said the move is “also creating an opportunity for those people who don’t have access to fresh produce to have access in a convenient location.”
One example of this already exists in Fort Worth, but is somewhat limited. Beverly Thomas of Cold Springs Farm runs the Veggie Van, which delivers farm grown vegetables to customers but is limited to existing clients in certain areas only.
“We want to open up all the options,” said Jocelyn Murphy, the city’s planning manager. “If people can’t get to healthy food, let’s get it to them.”
Check out the recent news coverage for more information:
- Fort Worth Rolls Out Veggie-to-Curbside Delivery Service
- Fort Worth Appears Close to Allowing Mobile Fresh Food Vendors in Residential Areas
February is American Heart Month, the perfect time to start eating more heart healthy foods like fruits and vegetables! Want more information about eating heart healthy? Visit the Healthy Eating and Lifestyle Resource Center.
Image and video courtesy of Cold Springs Farm and CBS-DFW