Social and Cultural Environments

The social and cultural environment includes the social structure, customs and habits, beliefs and values, lifestyle and traditions of the residents. The local social and cultural environment influences the food selected, purchased and consumed.
Food can facilitate social and cultural connectedness. Local governments can support the unique culture of their area, as well as the sub-cultures within their diverse populations, through food. They can foster a local culture that values easy access to nutritious food by making the healthy choices the easy choices across community support services, art and cultural activities, library services, education programs and recreational services.

Opportunities for action

  • Promote access and availability of culturally appropriate food in shops, markets, community gardens and events.
  • Ensure healthy food options are available when food is offered at community programs.
  • Support home gardening, meal planning, budgeting and cooking classes for residents.
  • Provide food relief programs, breakfast programs, community kitchens and meal deliveries to the elderly and those at risk of food insecurity.
  • Promote breastfeeding-friendly spaces.