For many years, low-income communities and communities of color have been affected by the disappearance of grocery stores and healthy food outlets in their neighborhoods. Without access to fresh, healthy food, residents are put at higher risk of poor health outcomes. With the rise in diet-related diseases affecting communities across the country, health experts and advocates are working to determine the largest barriers for access to healthy food and how to combat them. In order to combat these issues, many groups around the nation and the St. Louis region are developing innovative ways to restore healthy food access in low income neighborhoods. The St. Louis Food Policy Coalition (STLFPC) was created to organize efforts around improving the food system, and as part of its mission convenes food access organizations and advocates from around the area to work on collaborative projects. Although many efforts exist to eliminate areas of low access, the data continues to show that many St. Louisans still live in areas without access to healthy food. In St. Louis City, 57% of residents are considered low income with low access to healthy food within ½ mile. The greatest concentration of low-income and low-access census tracts exist in parts of North City and North County, therefore the focus of STLFPC's work is in these regions, which we refer to collectively as North St. Louis. STLFPC recognizes that need exists in many other parts of our region, and has decided to start in North St. Louis with the hope to reach more communities in the future. Our food access story map shows the areas of the Northern St. Louis region that are of highest need. To interact with the map click here.
The Food Access Work Group is currently focusing on:
- Grocery Store Price Audit in replication of the 2015 Baltimore Food Environment Report
The St. Louis Food Policy Coalition advocates for food access and equity across the Greater St. Louis Area. The STLFPC utilizes the skills and expertise of food system stakeholders to:
- Engage, collaborate and communicate with community members
- Effect policy change
- Facilitate community initiatives