In cities across the country, local businesses and economic development agencies are starting to work more closely with food and nutrition organizations to build a stronger network of healthy food retailers. But this type of work is relatively new to the southeast.
In Birmingham, Alabama, advocates see tremendous potential for local business initiatives aimed at strengthening the food system. But the region’s history, culture, and politics present some particular challenges, from the culinary tradition of rich, deep-fried foods to segregation’s legacy of political fragmentation and distrust of government.
ChangeLab Solutions went to Birmingham to learn about local efforts to build healthy food enterprises in the region and to glean lessons for other cities and towns.