The HFFP Policy Database focuses on written laws and organizational policies that have been formally adopted by municipal governments such as counties, cities, towns, and villages. These include ordinances, resolutions, and codified laws. The Policy Database does not include laws and policies adopted by school boards, park boards, and other types of special local governments. The Database also does not include state, federal, or Tribal laws; these types of governments are very different from municipal governments, with different structures and different priorities.
Although excluded laws and policies may have relevance to healthy food access in some way and may be important, they either did not expressly articulate a connection to healthy food access, or expressed a connection but did not include enforceable or specific duties or requirements. Many of these types of laws are included in our Food System Crosswalk.
Excluded policies include those that are aspirational or advisory; or that establish a framework; or that create a taskforce, commission or similar body without requiring some kind of specific, described policy-related action by a prescribed deadline.
We also excluded certain categories of laws, including:
This is a partial, not exhaustive, list. We also made exceptions for laws or policies included in the Growing Food Connections database. Our Coding Manual, which has more information about our policy selection and coding process, is available here. The manual is continuously updated. This linked version is current through May 3, 2019.
To solicit case study nominations from rural, suburban, and urban communities, the Healthy Food Policy Project (HFPP) team sent a solicitation email through various listservs. We contacted a variety of institutions including universities, research centers, local government entities, and non-profit organizations, (N=234) on May 31, 2017. The solicitation email contained a link to an online survey that collected basic information on the community, the type(s) of local level law(s) enacted, the economic and/or environmental impact of the policy change(s), and the extent in which the law(s) aimed to achieve health equity for priority populations. The submission deadline was June 15, 2017.
A decision matrix developed by the project team guided the selection process. The matrix included both core criteria (e.g., type of law or plan, impact on health equity), contextual criteria (e.g., geographic location, median household income), and aspirational criteria (e.g., intentional efforts to ensure that community groups likely to be impacted by the law were actively included in the policy development process).
The 19 case studies included in the final selection process were analyzed further by the case study team using the contextual and aspirational criterion. The HFPP coding database was used, when applicable, for additional information specific to the codified law. These results were shared with the entire project team and through a collaborative decision-making process, the team chose the 4 case studies included with the HFPP launch.
For the case study solicitation email and online survey, click HERE.