Local Food Can Be Part of Your Toolbox

In Philadelphia, PA, more than two-thirds of adults and nearly half of all youth are overweight or obese. Access to healthy food, including fruits and vegetables, is a challenge. But with support from CDC, the city is using innovative approaches to get healthy foods where they’re needed.

One of the city’s strategies was to open ten new farmers markets in low-income, high-need areas. It also launched Philly Food Bucks, a fruit and vegetable coupon program for SNAP recipients, at 25 markets across the city. These steps are making an impact: SNAP sales at farmers markets increased 179 percent in the first two years of the program.

Philadelphia is just one of many communities across the country using local foods as a tool to address healthy food access and obesity.  And like Philly, many other cities are using CDC support to get the work done. From creating school gardens in Omaha, Nebraska to building the supply of local produce at the Community Food Bank of Tucson, Arizona, to developing a strong farm to school program in the Cherokee nation, communities are finding ways to connect residents with local produce, supporting local farmers in the process. 

This work, and that of nine other federal agencies investing in local food, is now showcased on the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass.  Developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Compass includes an interactive map of federally-funded local food projects across the country.   And CDC is now on the map!

The Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass is a one-stop-shop for anyone interested in learning about how the federal government is engaged in local food systems.  Looking for trends and opportunities in local food?  Use the map to see federally-funded local food projects in your area and compare your region to other communities.

Looking for federal funding for a local food project?  Search the map to find out which federal programs are being used to support specific kinds of work. 

Interested in mapping the local food landscape in your region?  All the data on the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass map is downloadable in Excel for you to sort and layer over other datasets.

Communities invest in local food for a variety of reasons – from increasing healthy food access, to creating economic opportunities for farmers, ranchers and food entrepreneurs, to strengthening the infrastructure that connects producers and consumers. Explore the Compass to learn how local food is part your community’s toolbox. 

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