Columbus City Council last night approved a "food action plan" that's been two years in the making.
The City and Franklin County have been working to learn why some people in the area lack access to affordable, healthy food. They found 24 percent of area residents lack convenient access to grocery stores, and 1 in 5 children are food insecure, among other things. Officials say the plan will address these issues. Cheryl Graffagnino, the city’s healthy foods access manager, says the plan includes 27 steps to expand food access and use the industry to boost the economy while reducing food waste.
The plan calls for more coordination among farmers markets, the creation of education programs, using vacant lots to grow food, and helping businesses. Food access will be a part of transit planning, and one goal will be to expand access to public-assistance programs that encourage people to shop at farmers markets. It also calls on public and private institutions to adopt policies to buy healthy local food. Franklin County Commissioner John O’Grady says the plan will better coordinate manufacturers, growers, food distributors and others to grow the industry.
Council member Priscilla Tyson says the city and county will appoint a committee to implement the plan.
Franklin County Commissioners are expected to approve the plan later today.
More information on the plan may be found through this link: https://www.columbus.gov/LFAP/