Park and recreation professionals work to provide access to healthy food in communities nationwide
Ashburn, Va. (Jan. 30, 2020) — Nine in 10 U.S. adults support their local government providing resources for healthy food and nutrition assistance to low-income families in their community, according to a newly released National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) poll. This is a sentiment shared by people across all demographic groups (e.g., income, parentage, education, race/ethnicity, geography) who strongly support this notion.
Park and recreation professionals nationwide work to provide access to healthy food through a variety of options, including:
- Federally funded meals served in summer camps and afterschool programs
- Nutrition education programs
- Community gardens
- Farmers markets
- Community supported agricultural systems
- Connecting families to supplemental nutrition assistance (SNAP, WIC)
“The ongoing need for communities to provide access to healthy food and nutrition assistance is evident,” said Allison Colman, NRPA director of health. “Park and recreation professionals have a strong track record of ensuring that meals served at program sites go above and beyond existing guidance and provide access to more nutritious, fresh and local options.”
Local park and recreation professionals are key partners in connecting vulnerable families to healthy foods and much-needed nutrition supports, such as the Summer Food Service Program and the Child and Adult Care Food Program. These programs play a critical role in addressing youth hunger and food insecurity in communities and provide a strong line of defense against hunger for low-income families. Local park and recreation agencies are one of the largest providers of these vital programs, complementing their unique ability to connect all community members to comprehensive health and wellness services, educational and enrichment opportunities, social connections and nature.
This poll is part of NRPA’s Park Pulse, a continuing series of monthly surveys that gauge the public’s opinion on topics relating to parks and recreation. To explore previous Park Pulse survey results, visit nrpa.org/ParkPulse.
To view the interactive charts with the survey results, click here.
To view the full-size infographic, click here.
To learn more about NRPA, visit www.nrpa.org.
About the National Recreation and Park Association
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all people have access to parks and recreation for health, conservation and social equity. Through its network of 60,000 recreation and park professionals and advocates, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit www.nrpa.org. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit www.parksandrecreation.org.