Access to foods is especially linked to availability. It involves how easily all residents, including low-income and vulnerable groups, can (physically and economically) reach sources of sufficient, socio-culturally acceptable, nutritious and safe foods.
Limited access to healthy and safe foods is particularly problematic for low-income and vulnerable groups, who lack the financial means to access higher-priced foods and do not have their own means of transport or impaired mobility to access other, more diverse food sources where nutritious and safe foods would be available. A result of lacking access to sufficient, healthy and safe foods can be that consumers face hunger or that their options are limited to less nutritious and safe foods and beverages, including energy-dense foods high in salt, sugar, and fat, as these might be the only food choices being locally accessible and affordable.
Establishing points of sale, sufficient food supply in urban areas to set up and maintain urban markets and food retailers throughout the city and encouraging the sale of nutritious and safe foods are important factors to improving accessibility. Also, facilitating mobility and public transportation to enable access to nutritious and safe foods elsewhere for those that cannot travel to or purchase food locally can be critical. Finally, ensuring the affordability of nutritious and safe foods through social protection programmes, income increasing activities, price regulations, or the establishment of nutritious food procurement in municipality settings, including schools, care homes, prisons, hospitals, youth clubs etc., can be effective in increasing the access to nutritious and safe foods.