Improving access to healthy food is an investment in the health and well-being of all community members. Communities are more likely to thrive when residents have access to healthy, affordable, culturally-appropriate foods for themselves and their families.
According to the 2022 Greater Manchester Community Health Needs Assessment, more than 91% of Manchester residents surveyed said that it is “very important” for Manchester to take action to increase access to healthy, affordable food sources, including addressing health conditions such as obesity and diabetes, lack of access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and food deserts (defined as neighborhoods where residents live with high rates of poverty and live at least one-half mile from the nearest grocery store.) More than one in ten Manchester residents (11.3%) reported having trouble getting access to food/meals in the past three years. 1
Healthy Food Access Plan
In an effort to improve Manchester residents’ access to healthy and culturally-appropriate food, the Manchester Health Department embarked on a community-driven planning process to develop a Healthy Food Access Plan (HFAP), supported by American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. In collaboration with community partners, the Health Department completed an assessment of the City’s current food landscape and elicited challenges and solutions to food access in the community.
Based upon direct community input, the HFAP identifies food access strategies to be implemented with ARPA funding through July of 2026. More long-term strategies identified in the HFAP may extend beyond the ARPA timeline and require additional funding resources.
Healthy Food Access Story Map
An interactive data map of some of the existing conditions regarding healthy food access in Manchester can be found here:
Fresh Choice Manchester, The City of Manchester Healthy Corners Program
The purpose of the Healthy Corners Program is to expand healthy food access in Manchester with a focus on areas known as “food deserts” where the nearest grocery store is more than a half mile away. We work with corner and convenience stores throughout the City that accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, thereby helping low-income families afford healthier food. In partnership with Organization for Refugee and Immigrant Success (ORIS) and Fresh Start Farms serving as the Food Hub, the program provides:
- Fresh produce and healthy snacks at wholesale prices (with an emphasis on culturally appropriate foods);
- Training and technical assistance to storeowners;
- Marketing and merchandising support;
- Infrastructure, equipment, and produce displays; and
- Nutrition education for shoppers.
We are working with six stores, with an additional three stores receiving food deliveries beginning in 2024.
For more information, please contact the Manchester Health Department at 603-624-6466.