The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Food Policy Coalition: “we have evolved”.

Several pieces of legislation passed in Cleveland, Ohio, from 2007 to 2011, focused on improving the city’s food environment through urban agriculture initiatives. We used qualitative, case study methods, including interviews with 7 key informants, to examine the policy development process and investigate the role of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Food Policy Coalition in developing and implementing 4 pieces of legislation. In this article, we focus on 2 pieces of legislation: zoning designation of an urban garden and allowance of small farm animals and bees on residential property. Five key themes emerged: impetus for policy came from community needs; education and raising awareness helped mitigate barriers; a cultural shift took place among policy makers; social connections and individual champions were needed; and concerns over food access and health influenced policy decisions. Legislative actions are important tools to influence the nutrition environment, as long as they are based on local needs and context.