Access to healthy, affordable food is vital for a sustainable community.

A healthy food system is integral to the health and well-being of our community. The food system comprises all the way in which food moved from farm (or producer) to table (consumer). That includes the farms on which it's grown, the manufacturers who process and produce roods, the venues in which the food are delivered to the public and the way the consumer receives and consumes food.

Food sytems work is important and integral to city priorities for the following reasons:

  • The health of people and our planet. Rising obesity and diet-related diseases cost money and lives. Chemically intensive agriculture degrades the quality of our land, our air, and our water. 
  • Equity and social justice. One in five children in King County does not always have enough to eat, and healthy food is even harder for some to afford. Food inequities disproportionately affect low-income residents, children, seniors, and communities of color. 
  • Economy and community. Local food is a growing sector of the food economy. Growing, eating, and sharing food brings communities together.

Seattle has made a healthy food system a priority. The City of Seattle's vision for a healthy food system is guided by the Food Action Plan. Nearly every department at the City is engaged in reaching the goals in the Plan, with the Office of Sustainability and Environment coordinating this work.

OSE's Key Initiatives

Fresh Bucks
Fresh Bucks doubles the value of SNAP benefits redemeed at Seattle Farmers Markets, up to $10 per day.
Food Action Plan
Seattle's vision for a healthy food system is guided by the Food Action Plan. Nearly all of the City's food initiatives originate from this Plan.

Moving the Needle food overview

Below is a summary of the Food strategies, goals and progress to date from the City's environmental progress report, Moving the Needle. Visit the Moving the Needle page for more information, download the full report, or check out the report's Food section for infographics and more.

Seattle is committed to increasing healthy food access while continuing to protect our farm lands and grow our local food economy for all. Our strategies include:

  1. Healthy Food for All

    Seattle residents should have enough to eat and access to affordable, local, healthy, sustainable, culturally appropriate food.

  2. Local Food Production

    It should be easy to grow food in Seattle for personal use or business purposes.

  3. Strong Food Economy

    Businesses that produce, process, distribute, and sell local and healthy food should grow and thrive in Seattle.

Healthy Food Access Increase healthy food access 45% increase in Seattle early learning centers purchasing healthy food from local farmers More than 70% increase in Fresh Bucks use at farmers markets between 2012 and 2013
Local Food Production Increase urban food production 104% increase in publicly accessible land for growing food from 1990 to 201333% increase in P-Patch gardeners from between 2010 and 2013
Strong Food Economy Increase local food consumption $1 million increase in farmers market sales between 2010 & 2012