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Food security, as defined by the World Food Summit of 1996, is “when people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life.” Usually, the concept of food security includes both physical and economic access to food that meets people's dietary needs and preferences. Cities employ various strategies to ensure that their populations are food secure, including supporting urban agriculture, food banks and other charities that feed people, and the elimination of food deserts by supporting food retailers in communities that lack sources of healthy food.

The definition of food security has evolved over a period of time. In 1974, food security was defined by the World Food Summit as the “availability at all times of adequate world ...

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