Healthy Food Within Reach

Helping Bay Area residents find, afford and choose healthy food

SPUR Report
Healthy Food Within Reach Report Cover

The Bay Area is a global culinary capital. Our restaurants, grocery stores and farms helped pioneer the celebration of fresh, local and organic food — as well as the business models that make this thriving food culture possible. Yet many Bay Area residents face a reality far removed from this celebration of cuisine. In communities throughout the region, families have trouble affording three meals a day, grapple with the effects of diet-related diseases such as obesity and diabetes, and have to travel far to find quality grocery stores that offer fresh, healthy food. To meet our basic needs, improve public health and enhance our quality of life, Bay Area residents must have access to healthy food.

There are four main barriers to food access:

Physical access: Can you find healthy food?

Economic access: Can you afford healthy food?

Educational access: Do you know how to make healthy choices and how to cook?

Cultural access: Do you want the healthy food that is available and affordable?

We need to address all four of these barriers to promote a more wholesome diet for Bay Area residents and a self-sustaining healthy food economy for our communities. SPUR recommends 12 actions that local governments can take to identify and address these issues in the Bay Area.


SPUR Lead Staff Eli Zigas
Research Assistant Sean Becker

SPUR Food Access Task Force
Heather Wooten (Co-Chair), ChangeLab Solutions
Lisa Craypo, Ad Lucem Consulting
Lisa Feldstein, UC Berkeley
Jennifer Gross, formerly with the San Mateo County Health Department
Erin Healy, The Health Trust
Teri Olle, SF-Marin Food Bank
Rachel Poplack, The Health Trust
Shakirah Simley, Bi-Rite Family of Businesses
Deborah Quick, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius

Mapping and GIS Analysis
Lauren Heumann, Darshini Shah

Resources and Reviewers
Susana Algert, Carle Brinkman, Bonnie Broderick, Arden Bucklin-Sporer, Carlo Carino, Nicole Coxe, Brian Darrow, Jaime Flores, Becky Gershon, Allison Hagey, Stefan Harvey, Susana Hennessey-Lavery, Andy Hull, Doug Johnson, Paula Jones, Sarah Nelson, Shu Wen Ng, Leo O’Farrell, Bogdan Rau, Zetta Reicker, Dottie Rosenbaum, Bhavdeep Sachdev, Hilary Seligman, Darshini Shah, Diana Sokolove, Laura Tam, Egon Terplan, Iris Tiong, Kris Vantornhout, Tony Vi, Chris Wimer, Diane Woloshin, Sabrina Wu

SPUR’s Food Systems and Urban Agriculture Program is generously supported by the Columbia Foundation, Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation, TomKat Charitable Trust, 11th Hour Project, New Belgium Family Foundation, Seed Fund, John and Marcia Goldman Foundation, Clif Bar Family Foundation and Veritable Vegetable.