HFA Fact Sheet - New 082014.pub

What is healthy food access?
Did you know?
According to VOICES for Alabama’s Children’s
Alabama Kids Count Data Book, more than 1 in
4 children live in poverty in our state.2
When a person lives more than one mile from a supermarket or large grocery store in an urban area or more than 10 miles in a rural area, they are living in what’s known as a “food desert.” People in these areas have limited access to healthy and affordable food op ons.1 Why is healthy food access important?
Low‐income families living in poverty face not
only the problem of affordability but also ac‐
cess to healthy food choices if transporta on
is not available.1
People who live in communi es without a supermarket suffer dispropor onately from high rates of obesity, diabetes and other diet-related health problems because they are o en overexposed to fast food that offers few healthy op ons.3 Children who become obese are more likely to grow up to become obese adults with even more severe chronic problems that will impact their quality of life and the ability to provide for themselves and their families.4 The USDA reports more than one million
Alabamians live in areas designated as
food deserts. 245,000 of these are Alabama
Health care costs for children who are considered obese are three mes higher than for children who are of a normal weight. If this problem is not addressed, children could experience a shorter lifespan by 2-5 years, making them the first genera on to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.4 The solu on.
1Access to Affordable and Nutritious Food: Updated Estimates of Distances to Supermarkets Using 2010 Data (2012). http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/err-economic-research
VOICES for Alabama's Children (2013). The 2013 Alabama Kids Count Data Book. http://
3 The
Food Trust. http://thefoodtrust.org/what-we-do/supermarkets
4 Children’s
Defense Fund. Policy Priorities, Childhood Obesity. http://
PolicyLink, The Food Trust, and The Reinvestment Fun (2011). A Healthy Food Financing
Initiative: An Innovative Approach to Improve Health and Spark Economic Development.
http://policylinkcontent.s3.amazonaws.com/HFFI_ADVOCACY3.PDF. 5
We can eliminate food deserts through Healthy Food Financing, a policy ini a ve that helps put healthy foods in underserved communi es by providing economic incen ves to healthy food retailers to locate in such areas. VOICES for Alabama's Children advocates for legisla on to secure state funding for implementa on of a statewide Healthy Food Financing Ini a ve. Healthy food financing is also good for the economy. In one state such an ini a ve increased access to healthy foods for over 400,000 residents and created thousands of jobs.5 Jada Shaffer I Campaign Manager I [email protected] I ext. 105
Phone: 334-213-2410
Advocating for Alabama 's children since 1992 P. O. Box 4576, Montgomery, AL 36103-4576