Council creates healthy food task force
The City Council agreed this week to create a task force that will analyze Lawton’s food environment, with an eye toward creating strategies to make healthy food available to more residents.
The proposal ties into a community-based initiative by health professionals who are working to create a healthier environment for adults and children, and one consistent complaint has been the availability of fresh food.
Debra Johnson, with The Salvation Army, said there is data to support the complaint that many residents don’t make healthy food choices. But, those choices are influenced by a variety of factors, she said, noting, for example, that up to 35 percent of residents live just above the economic threshold that would enable them to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
“It is a real area of need,” she said, of options for buying healthy food.
Lawton already is well on its way to addressing other aspects of healthy living, evidenced by the fact that the city has held an Excellent ranking from Certified Healthy Oklahoma for three of the last four years. Lawton was the first large community to win that ranking, city officials said.