Safe Routes to Healthy Food

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Certification Maintenance

CM | 1.25

What You'll Learn

  • The concept of Safe Routes to Healthy Food, integrated approaches to promoting active transportation and nutritious foods.
  • How improving food access and active transportation can both support the needs of low-income communities and communities of color as well generate renewed attention that may lead to displacement, and discuss strategies for mitigating the negative outcomes of transportation infrastructure and grocery store development.
  • Actionable strategies to integrate active transportation and food access based upon case studies of communities engaged in this work and recommendations developed by the Safe Routes to Healthy Food Task Force.

More Course Details

Across the country, many people live in communities that lack the resources and conditions needed to lead a healthy life. It may be difficult to buy healthy food because food stores that carry fresh produce and other healthy options are few and far between. If the community lacks safe and convenient conditions for walking and biking, people are less likely to be physically active. Often, these conditions exacerbate one another. Healthy eating is harder to do when traveling to food stores is not safe or convenient. Walking and biking are less appealing when there are few destinations nearby to walk or bike to.

Currently, many advocates for healthy food access and active transportation work separately from one another, despite their shared goal of creating a healthy community. By working together to ensure that active transportation opportunities are linked to places where people access food, advocates and professionals working in the fields of public health and planning can strengthen their respective efforts and amplify impact. Planners are among the few professions working at the nexus of food systems and active transportation, yet there are too few examples of plans and planners strategically integrating active transportation and food access.

While tackling healthy food and active transportation together is an emerging approach, several communities around the country offer examples of how to do so. During this session, presenters share case studies of integrating active transportation and food access through planning. Additionally, the panelists share recommended strategies developed by the Safe Routes to Healthy Food Task Force, a work group convened in 2016 comprised of 20 diverse stakeholders working to ensure that people have safe, affordable, and convenient opportunities to walk, bike, or use public transit to get to healthy food — including at corner stores, supermarkets, summer meal sites, food pantries, and farmers' markets.