Christchurch City Council considers identifying ‘food deserts’ to improve access to healthy food

The Christchurch City Council is considering identifying "food deserts" and creating community fridges to improve people’s access to healthy food.
A food desert was described in the action plan as an area where access to healthy food was limited.
As part of the action plan, the council would trial community fridges in the city and develop or support programmes that encourage the growing, cooking or eating of healthy food in schools and early child care centres.
* Council considers lobbying for a law change to restrict fast food outlets near schools * Fast food outlets should be kept away from schools, advocates say * Campaigners continue fighting for rules limiting fast food outlets near schools * City council must take a stand on fast-food outlets near schools It was proposed the council would also actively promote the city’s high quality tap water as the primary "beverage of choice" and improve access to that drinking water by providing more drinking fountains in public places.
The council planned to map all publicly available fruit and nut trees, local food markets, edible schools, community gardens, fruit and vegetable co-operatives and fresh greengrocers.
He wanted the Ministry of Education to be involved in the programme because he was concerned too many people were "food illiterate".
The council would look at partnering with external organisations to carry out some of the initiatives.
The cost of implementing the plan was not known, but a council staff report said the cost was expected to be low.
Some of the 18 actions could be absorbed into existing budgets, but others would rely on helping community groups access funding.
– Stuff

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