Our state is stronger when everyone has access to opportunities for health, security, prosperity, and quality of life. However, in Minnesota, we face serious issues related to food and health—nearly 900,000 Minnesota residents live in lower-income communities with insufficient grocery store access.
Policies and plans are needed to create environments where the healthy choice is the easy choice for all. Incorporating food access policies into local comprehensive plans provides an important tool for improving the health and well-being of all Minnesota communities. With local city government’s comprehensive planning process currently underway, now is the time to share your ideas about the future of your community.
The first step in the planning process happened this summer across the Twin Cities region—the stage called community visioning. This stage took input from the community, laying the foundation for the comprehensive plan by establishing a vision statement, goals, and outcomes that reflect community priorities. Local governments want and need input from the community—all voices matter and can affect the process.
Here are some ways you can get involved to create a healthy, resilient future for all:
- Visit your local government’s website and/or follow your city government on social media for updates on the comprehensive planning process and opportunities for input.
- Attend local comprehensive planning events, meet your local city leaders and planners, and make your voice heard. Think bold and be innovative—there’s no such thing as a crazy idea!
- Call or email your local government’s planning office if you can’t attend comprehensive planning events. The bottom line is they want to hear from you—in any way possible.
- Volunteer to serve on your local government Planning Commission, Comp Plan Steering Committee, or other boards and commissions.
- Contact your local government’s Health Advisory Board to learn how you can engage with comprehensive planning. Every Minnesota county has a Community Health Improvement Plan. Ask about it!
- Check mnfoodcharter.com/planningguide to see where the nearest local or regional food policy council is located.
Leave a legacy of health for future generations by getting involved in the comprehensive planning process. Our community is stronger when everyone has equal access to health, security, prosperity, and quality of life—and this is the perfect opportunity to ensure this vision is possible!