About WI Healthy Food Access Campaign

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Limited Access to Healthy Foods

Good nutrition is critical to our future health and Americans are falling drastically short. Particularly troubling is that in many neighborhoods in Milwaukee, residents report a lack even basic access to healthy, affordable foods. When neighborhoods have little or no access to a grocery store or other healthy food retail, residents may rely on fast food restaurants or other unhealthy options found at corner stores.

Healthy Food Financing

Everyone in Milwaukee deserves access to affordable, healthy foods. Healthy food financing can make the difference. It’s a viable, effective, and economically sustainable solution to the problem of limited access to healthy foods. Healthy food financing attracts grocery store investment and expansion in underserved communities by providing critical loan and grant financing to fresh food retailers. These one-time resources help retailers overcome the higher initial barriers to entry into underserved urban and rural communities, and support renovation and expansion of existing stores so they can provide the fresh, healthy foods that communities want and need.

Milwaukee Elevate Report (PDF)

Definition of Food Desert from USDA :

There are many ways to define which areas are considered "food deserts" and many ways to measure food store access for individuals and for neighborhoods. Most measures and definitions take into account at least some of the following indicators of access:

  • Accessibility to sources of healthy food, as measured by distance to a store or by the number of stores in an area.
  • Individual-level resources that may affect accessibility, such as family income or vehicle availability.
  • Neighborhood-level indicators of resources, such as the average income of the neighborhood and the availability of public transportation.

(from: https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-access-research-atlas/about-the-atlas.aspx(link opens in new window))