The Department of Defense, and each of its components, faces a daunting challenge with the decline in health among the military community as a whole, including military personnel, their families, military retirees, and other Government employees. This health challenge has significant implications on military readiness and also contributes to the increased cost of health care.
The Secretary of Defense launched the Healthy Base Initiative (HBI) in 2013 to explore various initiatives that could contribute to positive health outcomes. One result of the HBI was an endorsement to create farmers markets on military installations to improve the nutritional offerings and encourage individuals to make healthier food choices.
The goals of this guide are to enable installation leadership to:
- help installations improve healthy food options and build effective community partnerships that improve combat readiness and advance the overall health of the military community;
- understand the nature of farmers markets, how they benefit a community, and the different types and structures of markets that exist;
- determine if it is appropriate and feasible for an installation to host a market;
- determine the optimal type, frequency, and management of a market on an installation;
- develop a plan of action that sets a market up for success; and
- provide resources to facilitate the establishment and implementation of a market.