November 12, 2009

Access to Healthy Food Starts with Planning

APA awarded $100,000 grant from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to identify and evaluate food access goals in comprehensive and sustainability plans.

WASHINGTON, DC — Many children and adults, particularly in low-income households, do not have access to fresh, affordable produce and other healthy foods. Planners are increasingly working to change this.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded the American Planning Association (APA) a $100,000 grant to continue to advance the role of planning in establishing greater access to healthy, affordable foods within neighborhoods.

The grant will continue to fund APA's ongoing research promoting healthy communities through its Planning and Community Health Research Center. APA will use the grant to identify and evaluate food access goals currently included in local governments comprehensive and sustainability plans across the U.S.

"Communities are starting to incorporate food access within their plans, but this approach is not yet standard practice," said Kimberley Hodgson, manager of APA's Planning and Community Health Research Center and a registered dietitian. "With this grant, APA will be able to identify and evaluate the development, adoption and implementation of food access goals and policies within plans. This will help establish a benchmark for other communities interested in incorporating food access goals within their plans. "

Research results will be published in a report in 2012. The grant is being awarded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through its national program Healthy Eating Research. The program supports research on environmental and policy strategies with strong potential to promote healthy eating among children to prevent childhood obesity, especially among low-income and racial and ethnic populations at highest risk for obesity.

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 35 years, the foundation has brought experience, commitment and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit

About APA

The American Planning Association and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the art, science and profession of good planning — physical, economic, and social — so as to create communities that offer better choices for where and how people work and live. For more information, visit


Roberta Rewers, APA, 312-786-6395;