The Department of Health works to increase access to healthy foods and make it easier for people to eat healthier wherever they are. Many factors shape a person's or community's access to healthy food:
- Availability: is there an adequate supply of healthy foods available?
- Accessibility: how far away is the nearest healthy food source? Is there reliable transportation to get there?
- Affordability: are healthy foods affordable? Does the person or community have enough resources to buy healthy food?
- Acceptability: are healthy foods culturally acceptable and familiar? Do they meet personal or communal standards?
- Accommodation: does the healthy food source meet local residents' needs by maintaining convenient store hours and accepting various types of payment?
Partners from across the state are working to improve access to healthy foods in all the places where people live, learn, work, and play.
Examples of Successful Activities
- Promoting breastfeeding with Breastfeeding Friendly Washington
- Supporting healthier food options with the Healthy Nutrition Guidelines
- Partnering with farmers markets and grocery stores to make fruits and vegetables more affordable for people who use the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Providing community-based organizations and local health departments with support and technical assistance.