Food Access Planning Guide

Planning Guide

The Minnesota Food Charter Food Access Planning Guide provides tools, resources, proven policy strategies, and recommended planning and zoning language for comprehensive plans, so planners and community food advocates can collaborate to design communities that promote access to healthy, safe, affordable food.

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Make sure healthy food access and equity are part of your community’s long-range plan by leveraging the new Minnesota Food Charter Food Access Planning Guide. This toolkit can help!

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Associated Resources

Health and Planning

The purpose of planning is community health. Not necessarily the way we traditionally think of health – doctor’s visits, clinics, vaccines – but rather the policies, systems, and built environment that contribute to the design of our communities and the way in which we live, work, learn, and play (or don’t) in these spaces. A community’s plan for housing, transportation, land use, parks, and economic development – these environments are the largest contributor to our health.

All counties and municipalities in the Twin Cities seven-county metropolitan area are required to develop local comprehensive plans at least once every ten years (currently planning for 2018), and many greater Minnesota communities are also undergoing planning processes.

Local community planning is increasingly being recognized as tool to strategically identify and implement initiatives to increase access to healthy food and physical activity and to promote health equity. The Minnesota Food Charter and other state and local initiatives have identified opportunities to work with local planning efforts to increase access to healthy food and physical activity.

How We Can Assist

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Center for Prevention has created the Healthy Comprehensive Planning Director to assist planners, public health staff, and community advocates to integrate health into the planning process. We recognize that this is a newer way to think about planning. To help facilitate this integration of health and the relationship between health and planning, we are listening and responding to needs as we learn and build our capacity together.

Contact Nadja Berneche for more information. She is available for one-on-one consultations, group presentations, assistance with plan language, and assistance with community engagement efforts.


These resources have been designed to point you towards the most useful health and planning tools. All of these links have been examined helpful content. We’ve tried to summarize the content of each link so you can easily find what you need. This library is a work in progress. If you aren’t finding what you need or if you’ve found another great source to add, please let us know.

A Summary

Communications Framing for Food System Change with Local Governments

Healthy Plan-Making – a 2-page resource with some example city plans.

Public Health + Urban Planning – an interesting shorter article, also with examples.

10 Reasons for Regional Food Planning

National Association of Regional Councils Food System Planning Guide