Every child deserves access to fresh fruits and vegetables
To the editor:
At a time when goods and services are becoming more and more accessible online; and at a push of a button, these goods and services can be delivered within 24 hours or less. With the convenience of this technology and fast shipping, it’s easy to forget there are still millions of people in Michigan that don’t have access to nutritious, healthy fruits and vegetables.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1.8 million people in Michigan, including over 300,000 children, live in communities with inadequate access to fresh fruits and vegetables. This scarce access to fresh, healthy food isn’t an inner-city problem or a rural issue — it’s both. Far too many Michiganders live more than a mile from a grocery store, corner store or farmers market that’s stocked with nutritious, healthy fruits and vegetables.
This glaring need for more access to healthier choices could be met if the legislature passes House Bill 5180, sponsored by State Representative Dave Pagel. The legislation would allow communities to invest not only in improved health, but also job creation and economic development by expanding farmers markets, grocery stores and corner stores so they can offer fresh fruits and vegetables to under-served areas of the state.
When fresh fruits and vegetables are readily available, children and adults can develop better eating habits and better overall health, including a decreased risk of obesity. Every child deserves access to fresh fruits and vegetables so they can grow up healthy and strong and every person deserves the opportunity to invest in our communities overall health and development of local businesses.