LiveWell Colorado releases ‘Food Policy Blueprint’
A database of healthy foods and policy recommendations for improving Colorado residents’ health are among the content of the “Food Policy Blueprint” released in early March by Denver-based LiveWell Colorado, a non-profit organization that seeks to reduce obesity in the state by promoting healthy eating and active living. The report was developed with input from hundreds of stakeholders from across Colorado.
The blueprint includes the Healthy Foods Database, a searchable inventory of ongoing efforts across the state to increase access to healthy food; 13 criteria and a scoring system that can be applied to policy recommendations to prioritize recommendations relating to food access; and eight policy recommendations based on surveys and interviews of stakeholders across the state. Some of the eight recommendations include:
• Creating local land use policies that allow and incentivize food production, including home-based and community food production and urban agriculture.
• Establishing statewide technical assistance to enable more partnerships between food assistance programs and local food production, such as direct market farming, community gardens and Community Supported Agriculture.
• Forming a state policy to establish a healthy food markets financing initiative with a funding and resource pool to support the economic development of healthy food retailers, including full-service grocers, mobile vendors, corner stores, and farmers’ markets and stands.
The Blueprint also includes several strategies to advance healthy food access policies, such as the establishment of a Colorado Food Systems Advisory Council to help officials advance the eight policy priorities included in the blueprint. “This Blueprint addresses current efforts that are working and should be replicated, as well as identifies gaps and opportunities for LiveWell Colorado and our partners,” said Maren Stewart, president and CEO of LiveWell Colorado. “Not only does it provide a roadmap for attaining short-term goals, but it also paves a path for long-term food policy advocacy and efforts in our state and the nation.”
Download an overview or the full “Food Policy Blueprint” report.