What is food mapping?

Food for Life distributes food on an internati...

Food for Life distributes food on an international basis produced solely from vegan and lacto-vegetarian ingredients. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Food mapping is an opportunity for policy makers at local and national levels to work with others to develop an evidence base for assessing need, developing action plans and monitoring progress. In doing so, food mapping could help bring about positive change and effectively tackle the interlinking barriers to healthy food access. Food mapping can help inform an appropriate, joined-up and supportive policy framework for improving food access over time” Community Food and Health (Scotland).
Food mapping has been defined as the process of finding out where people can buy and eat food, and what the food needs of local people are. It is a type of needs assessment that aims to identify the geographical areas or communities that have the greatest needs in terms of access to food. This generally relates to access to affordable fresh fruit and vegetables and other healthy foods, however, food mapping may also be used to identify the availability of other specific types of food e.g. local produce or ethnic foods. The area covered by a food mapping exercise could range from a small village or urban estate, to large city or a whole county. Food mapping is one of the first activities that should take place when you are thinking about setting up a food project, and even more so when planning to deliver a programme of different activities to increase access to healthy foods. This is so that you can identify what problems there are with accessing food in an area and then plan initiatives that aim to deal with these problems.

For more information and a toolkit, please visit FOOD VISION

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