Creating Affordable Access to Good Food Requires New Thinking

A woman and her daughter enjoy a healthy meal At Partnership for a Healthier America, we believe in good food for all. That’s why we’re working to ensure that every family, in every zip code in America has access to good food - food that is affordable, healthy, sustainable, high-quality and culturally connected.

Delivering tens of millions of servings of produce - like we do through our Good Food for All produce boxes - has been proven to build a lasting habit of eating more fruits and vegetables, but what happens when the program is over? If people want to eat better, but can’t access good food, then we still have work to do at a systemic level. And the kind of systemic change that helps individuals thrive requires new and innovative thinking, at every level of the food system.

That’s why PHA consistently approaches the work we do with continuous improvement in mind. Because we know that “the way it’s always been done” isn’t good enough. It has led to the poor health outcomes so many Americans are facing today. Here are just a few of the ways that we’re working to innovate the food system and remove barriers to health-building foods:

  • PHA is partnering with the city of Indianapolis and Instacart to provide families with a monthly fresh fruit and vegetable stipend to use on Instacart, as well as Instacart+ memberships which offer free same-day delivery directly to participants’ doors. The program aims to unlock the ability for families living in communities that don’t have a local grocery store to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from places that were once completely out of reach for them.

  • We’re helping grocery stores market and prioritize healthier options with Keurig Dr Pepper and Stop & Shop. This promising model shows how prominently displaying and advertising more nutritious and less-sugary beverages can lead to consumers adopting healthier options in their day-to-day lives.

  • Competitors are collaborating with PHA and each other to get good food to infants and toddlers, so that we can ensure our young eaters are getting more vegetables today and building a lifelong love of healthy food. That’s led to more than 170 new veggie-forward products being introduced across the nation in the last 2 years.

  • PHA brought nutritionists, pediatricians and infant feeding specialists together to create nutrition education resources to help parents introduce vegetables successfully to our youngest eaters.

  • We are launching a pilot program in Jackson, Mississippi to bring refrigerated kiosks of good food paired with recipes and healthy pantry essentials to Boys & Girls Clubs. Working with Dole, we envision parents grabbing healthy dinner options and recipes when they pick up their children after school, removing barriers of time and transportation that often prevent access to good food.

This is just some of the innovative work we’re doing to ensure that every family has equitable and affordable access to good food. We know how important a meal - or even a serving - of good food is, but it’s essential to also work toward sustainable, long-term access.

PHA is a critical part of an innovative framework that leverages the business, public, nonprofit and philanthropic sectors to transform communities so that individuals can thrive and lead healthy lives.

Collectively, we can improve affordable access to good food, and grow a healthier, more equitable food system. We will be sharing more stories in the coming weeks about how our innovation is improving the food system. You can join us on this journey by visiting our Food Equity Action Center, and taking the Food Equity Pledge.