Food Policies

35 Ways to Change the Food System: The Essential Food Day Toolkit

Food Day champions a number of policies at the local and state level that are designed to improve the food environment and make the healthy choice the easy choice for consumers. If you are interested in advocating for a food or nutrition policy in your community as part of your Food Day activities, the list of policies below are fully supported by Food Day. We have provided links to resources to help you with your advocacy efforts.

Schools   Workplace   Government/Public Venues   Restaurants/Food Service Establishments   Food Marketing   Land Use and Zoning   Sugar Drink Taxes   Restaurant Hygiene   Hunger and Food Access   Pesticide Taxes and Bans   Animal Welfare   Agriculture and Organic Farming



  1. Provide food nutrition education and food literacy in schools.
  2. Nutrition standards for school celebrations, rewards and fundraisers.
  3. Nutrition standards for food marketing in schools.
  4. Ensure your school district has a strong nutrition and physical activity wellness policy that is implemented in each school in the district.
  5. Call for a state plan to implement healthy nutrition environments in schools.


NANA Model School Wellness Policy

NANA Fact Sheet on Healthy School Fundraisers

CSPI Fact Sheet on Classroom Rewards

CSPI Fact Sheets on Healthy School Celebrations

NANA Fact Sheet on State and Local Policy Options to Support Healthy School Foods

Nourish Life Food Literacy in the Classroom Curriculum

DooF Food Literacy Curriculum

Teaching the Food System – Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Let’s Cook Class Curriculum

For more information, visit: or



  1. Nutrition standards for workplace vending and food service.
  2. Adopt a healthy meeting policy.
  3. Provide calorie labeling for food service and vending machines.


NANA Model Food and Beverage Vending Machine Standards

ChangeLab Solutions' Model Vending Agreement

Public Health - Seattle & King County: Healthy Vending Toolkit

For more information visit:


Government/Public Venues

  1. Nutrition standards for all foods and beverages sold and served on government-run property (procurement policy).


CDC Toolkit: A Guide for Government Procurement

Model Bill: The Healthy Government Properties Act

Model Bill: Healthy Vending on Government Property

ChangeLab Solutions' Model Vending Agreement

Good Food Purchasing Program: Los Angeles, CA

For more information visit:


Restaurants/Food Service Establishments

  1. In kids meals make fruit or vegetables the default side dish.  Make low-fat milk or water the default beverage.
  2. Nutrition standards for kid’s meals sold with toys.
  3. Menu labeling at non-chain restaurants.
  4. Ban use of artificial trans fat.
  5. Reduce sodium.


CSPI Study: Nutritional quality of restaurant children’s meals [pdf]

Healthy Children’s Meal Defaults Fact Sheet

FMW Fact sheet: Toy giveaways with restaurant children’s meals

NPLAN Model ordinance for toy giveaways with children’s restaurant meals [pdf]

CDC Artificial Trans Fat Ban Resources

Examples of Menu Labeling Policies in Non-Chain Restaurants

Salt: The Forgotten Killer


Food Marketing

  1. Adopt nutrition standards for food advertising in government facilities and property.
  2. Nutrition standards for kid’s meals sold with toys.
  3. Nutrition standards for food marketing in schools.
  4. Ensure that food marketing policies protect all children ages 12-14 from all forms of unhealthy food marketing.
  5. Remove candy, soda, and other junk food from retail checkout.


FMW Fact sheet: Food marketing to children

FMW Factsheet: State and local policy options to reduce junk food marketing to kids

NPLAN Model ordinance for toy giveaways with children’s restaurant meals [pdf]

NANA Model School Wellness Policy

FMW Factsheet on food marketing in schools

CSPI Study: Retail Checkout Promotes Obesity

For more information visit:


Land Use and Zoning

  1. Policy that encourages the development of community gardens
  2. Policy that protects farming and keeps development away from farmland.
  3. Policy that requires a minimum distance of 500 feet between fast food, carry-out, and drive-in restaurants and elementary, junior high, or high schools.
  4. Reduce density of fast food outlets through zoning specifications.
  5. Land use policies that protect and promote Farmers Markets.


Chula Vista Community Gardens Policy

Public Health Law Center- Community Gardens Model Resolution Language

Land Use Policies to Promote Urban Agriculture

Healthy Zoning Regulations

Land Use Policies that Protect and Promote Farmers Markets

Requires Minimum Distance of 500 Feet Between Fast Food Restaurants and Schools

Policy to Protect Farmland


Sugar Drink Taxes

  1. Penny-per-ounce excise tax on sugary drinks


ChangeLab Model Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Tax

Life’s Sweeter with Fewer Sugary Drinks


Restaurant Hygiene

  1. Restaurant Grading


CSPI Restaurant Grading: Consumer Access to Critical Food Safety Information

For more information contact Sarah Klein:


Hunger and Food Access

  1. Ensure that farmer’s markets accept EBT cards for SNAP and WIC
  2. Incentive Program for SNAP Recipients that increase the value of benefits when purchasing produce at Farmers Markets.
  3. Allow Mobile Food Markets to bring healthy food weekly into communities with poor food access.
  4. Incentivize grocery stores and other purveyors of healthy foods to locate in underserved neighborhoods.


Incentive Policy to Attract and Maintain Healthy Food Retailers

Grocery and Food Store Code/Policy

Farmers Markets Accept WIC and SNAP EBT Cards

Produce Cart Permit Program

Mobile Food Markets

The federal government created the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) to expand access to healthy, fresh food in underserved communities. See here for more information.

Pesticide Taxes and Bans

  1. Assess a tax on pesticides and fertilizers to reduce their use
  2. Ban pesticide use


California Department of Pesticide Regulation Mill Assessment/Produce Compliance Program

Washington State: Pesticides and the Hazardous Substance Tax

Oregon Temporary Pesticide Ban

Animal Welfare

  1. Ban use of gestation crates for sows
  2. Ban use of crates for calves raised for veal
  3. Ban battery cages for egg-laying hens


The Florida Constitution. 2002. Limiting cruel and inhumane confinement of pigs during pregnancy. Article X. Section 21.

Maine: An Act To Prohibit Cruel Confinement of Calves Raised for Veal and Sows during Gestation

The HSUS and The UEP agreement on supporting federal legislation to afford certain protections to all U.S. egg laying hens

Agriculture and Organic Farming

  1. Incentives for farms to convert from conventional to organic.
  2. Policies that protect farmland from development.
  3. Zoning policies to permit urban agriculture.


Organics Conversion Policy

Zoning for Urban Agriculture

Protecting Farmland for Local Food Production


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