Those on low incomes often live in areas where convenience stores (with a limited range of goods) or fast food outlets predominate. Food poverty alliances and local authorities can encourage and support outlets and stalls that provide the low-cost provision of fruit and vegetables and other healthy foods, helping low-income citizens have access to affordable fresh produce within easy walking distance of where they live.
A number of food poverty alliances have undertaken mapping exercises in order to comprehensively assess which areas have limited access to certain types of shop; whether public transport routes link to food shops; and whether, for example, outlets selling unhealthy snacks are congregating near school gates. Working with local authorities, they can then use planning powers to encourage a spread and diversity of shops and markets, ensure that new developments have enough food shops, and support good public transport links. They can also play an important role in encouraging local businesses to provide healthier options, and to accept both Healthy Start vouchers and where available the charitably funded Alexandra Rose vouchers, redeemable for fruit and vegetables.
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The Green House
244-254 Cambridge Heath Road
Food Power is a project of Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming.