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Creating Healthier Local Food Environments

Food is an essential part of our daily lives. Having consistent access to affordable, nutritious and safe food is fundamental to good health and forms an important aspect of improving quality of life.

Many Councils are already active in supporting healthy eating in their community. In their Regional Public Health Plans, Councils mention actions and strategies to address food access, security or healthy eating at either a local or regional level, including policy and behavioural change initiatives.

Creating Healthier Local Food Environments Guide

The Creating Healthier Local Food Environments - A Guide for Local Government (PDF 523KB) has been developed in consultation with Councils. The resource provides guidance to Councils and describes achievable actions to improve the healthy food environment.

The resource is divided into five main parts:

  • Part 1 - the purpose of the resource and the role of Councils in supporting the healthy food environment
  • Part 2 - checklists to help Councils assess their current policies, plans and practices in relation to supporting healthy eating in their community. See Audit tools below. 
  • Part 3 - ideas about actions that can be undertaken to create healthier local food environments, including case studies
  • Part 4 - information about implementing changes
  • Part 5 - useful links.

Audit tools

These checklists have been created to help Councils assess their current policies, plans and practices in relation to supporting healthy eating in their community within the following frameworks:

Links between regional public health planning and the role of Councils

Councils have a key influence and can create healthier local food environments, that make it easier for community access to healthy food and drinks by: 

  • increasing the availability and accessibility of healthy food and drink choices for community members
  • encouraging local food production and sharing of local food
  • improving knowledge and awareness about healthy eating for community members
  • council practices, policies, plans and advocacy for healthy eating.

See the fact sheet (PDF 88KB) for more information on the links between regional public health planning and the role of Councils in the healthy food environment.

Benefits of improving the healthy food environment

A healthy local food environment provides for the wellbeing of the community by improving availability and accessibility to healthy food choices and it can also create enormous social, economic and environmental benefits for Councils and their communities.

A healthier local food supply can help build a stronger and more sustainable local economy, encourage collaborative partnerships and create small business opportunities in local food production, processing and distribution.

Food can help create stronger social networks and opportunities for the community to come together, for example farmers markets, community gardens and food swaps.

For more information

Please contact the Local Government Relations and Policy Team at SA Health on 8226 7957 or email PublicHealthAct@sa.gov.au

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