Retail Food Environment

The retail food environment refers to the physical food environment, a concept that plays an important role in characterizing food systems and understanding food access. The retail food environment includes the physical presence of food stores and markets on a community level as well as the availability of healthy and affordable foods in stores on a consumer level. The Retail Food Index (RFEI) is a method that helps to quantitatively characterize the retail food environment in a given geographical area. 

Improving the retail food environment in a community can include means such as increasing the quantity and accessibility of grocery stores, limiting fast-food retailers and increasing healthy food retailing, and increasing farmers markets and community gardens.

Resources & Tools

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Active Design for Community Groups
Resource - Guide/handbook
Brought to you by New York State
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Bright Spot: Corner Store Initiative (Baltimore Health Stores)
Resource - Model Policy
Brought to you by 100MHL
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Healthy Food Access Logic Model
Resource - Fact Sheet
Brought to you by Wilder Research
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Agricultural Urbanism Toolkit
Resource - Guide/handbook
Brought to you by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
Published on 07/01/2015
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The Role of Business in Supporting Basic Needs for Health and Safety: Healthy Food
Resource - Policy Brief
Brought to you by WIN Network
Published on 02/25/2021
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Local Laws and Policies That Promote Access To Healthy Food: A Food System Crosswalk
Brought to you by Healthy Food Policy Project
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The Thirty Percent Project
Resource - Podcast
Brought to you by Apple
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How Cities Can Build Food System Resilience
Resource - Blog
Brought to you by WRI
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The Grocery Gap: Who Has Access to Healthy Food and Why It Matters
Resource - Report
Brought to you by The Food Trust
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It's Not the Food Deserts: It's the Inequality
Story - Written
Brought to you by CityLab

 Related Topics

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Local Food Systems

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Food Access

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Food Security

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Culturally Appropriate Foods

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School Food