Healthy Food Policy Project Looks at Policies Across U.S., Showcases Innovative Initiatives

SOUTH ROYALTON, Vt.—, Nov. 14, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—Food law and policy experts today launched a national Healthy Food Policy Project (HFPP) that identifies and elevates local laws and policies that promote access to healthy food and contribute to strong local economies, improved environmental quality, and health equity. The project, which focuses on socially disadvantaged and marginalized groups, is available at

The Healthy Food Policy Project is funded by the National Agricultural Library, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and represents a four-year collaboration of the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems (CAFS) at Vermont Law School, the Public Health Law Center at Mitchell Hamline School of Law, and the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at the University of Connecticut.

“We are thankful to the USDA National Agricultural Library for supporting the Healthy Food Policy Project, enabling us to shine a light on laws and policies that support access to healthy food in communities across the United States,” said Professor Laurie Ristino, CAFS director. “This project also highlights the benefits of working nationally with a transdisciplinary team of topnotch collaborators.”

The Healthy Food Policy Project website provides resources for advocates, local policymakers, and local public health agencies in their quest to champion healthy food access in their communities. The site contains a curated, searchable database of local healthy food policies that have been analyzed by HFPP partners, a crosswalk of local laws and policies organized by food system category and type of law, and case studies that showcase healthy food policy initiatives around the country.

“To our knowledge, our policy database is a first of its kind in this area, combining a substantive analysis and a legal drafting analysis to a wide range of laws relating to healthy food access,” said Julie Ralston Aoki, director of Healthy Eating and Active Living at the Public Health Law Center. “We built it to provide a starting point for local communities to understand the variety of healthy eating policy options, and to support health equity as an explicit focus of healthy food policy work.”

“We thought it was really important to highlight the stories behind the policies included in our database,” said Sally Mancini, director of advocacy resources at the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity. “HFPP case studies provide an in-depth look at healthy food policy change initiatives and the communities and people instrumental in passing and implementing them.”

For more information about the Healthy Food Policy Project, visit, email project team member Lihlani Skipper at, or follow @HealthyFoodLaws on Twitter and @HealthyFoodPolicyProject on Facebook.

The Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law School supports scholars and practitioners in producing practical, robust scholarship for use by the food and agriculture community. CAFS offers an expanding curriculum in food and agriculture for law and policy students, and training and legal tools to help build sustainable local and regional food systems. For more information about CAFS, visit or email

The Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at the University of Connecticut is a distinguished multidisciplinary policy research center dedicated to promoting solutions to childhood obesity, poor diet, and weight bias through research and policy. The Rudd Center is a leader in building broad-based consensus to change diet and activity patterns by conducting research and educating policymakers and the public. Learn more at

The Public Health Law Center at Mitchell Hamline School of Law helps create communities where everyone can be healthy. The center empowers partners to transform their environments by eliminating commercial tobacco, promoting healthy food, and encouraging active lifestyles. Because they provide legal and strategic support to so many local and state health departments, health advocacy organizations, attorneys working on public health issues, and community coalitions across the country, they are helping drive many of the nation’s cutting-edge public health initiatives. Learn more at


Vermont Law School, a private, independent institution, is home to the nation’s largest and deepest environmental law program. VLS offers a Juris Doctor curriculum that emphasizes public service; three Master’s Degrees—Master of Environmental Law and Policy, Master of Energy Regulation and Law, and Master of Food and Agriculture Law and Policy; and four post-JD degrees —LLM in American Legal Studies (for foreign-trained lawyers), LLM in Energy Law, LLM in Environmental Law, and LLM in Food and Agriculture Law. The school features innovative experiential programs and is home to the Environmental Law Center, South Royalton Legal Clinic, Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, Energy Clinic, Food and Agriculture Clinic, and Center for Applied Human Rights. For more information, visit, find us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.


A photo accompanying this announcement is available at


A photo accompanying this announcement is available at


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