Menu Search

Unlock the Potential of Food to Create a Healthy Community

March 21, 2018

Submitted by Communities ChooseWell

March is Nutrition Month and Dietitians of Canada is helping Canadians Unlock the Potential of Food as a tool to fuel, discover, prevent, heal and bring people together.

Food plays an important role in our physical, mental and social well-being. Sharing food with others also creates a welcoming atmosphere and helps to build community. Local governments have an important opportunity to create effective policies that support and enhance community wellbeing through increasing access to healthy food, creating healthy eating environments, building food security, and supporting local food systems.

Some examples of food-related issues around which policies and strategies can be developed to support community well-being include:

  • community gardens, edible planters, food forests
  • community kitchens, food hubs
  • farmers markets, food delivery programs, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
  • offering healthier options at community events and recreation facilities,
  • restricting fast food/convenience stores from being located close to schools and preventing “food swamps” - areas with a high ratio of fast-food restaurants and convenience stores to grocery stores and supermarkets with healthier foods
  • food security and sustainability
  • farming practices such as crop rotation or the safe use of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers

Creating effective policies that address food systems requires research and consultation with stakeholders. Here are some good resources to use:

Take a look at these examples of municipal food strategies for ideas: