AHA Healthy Food Financing Initiative

AHA Healthy Food Financing Initiative

An estimated 30 million people in America live in communities with limited supermarket access. These same communities often struggle
with high rates of underemployment and diet-related diseases. Right now I’m a single mom with
four children and I do not have transportation. So I depend a lot on public transportation.
I have to go a very far distance to get to a, a very good grocery store. It’s not easy.
It was tough being in a food desert. For us it was about a 20-minute drive to anything
that remotely had fresh foods. Growing up living in a food desert, you had to resort
to eating things that were just pretty much unhealthy for you, but that was the norm for
us. Not too many people who live too long. I have classmates that have passed away from
massive heart attacks out of obesity. And I was a victim of obesity myself. The American
Heart Association is trying to solve this problem through Healthy Food Financing — an
initiative supported by the state government that will help small businesses and provide
healthy food access to under-served communities. It wasn’t until I left Miami to go to college
that I realized that I wasn’t eating healthy and that I needed to change my life, and I
did it learning more about variety and things of that nature but I didn’t have access to
it because of where I lived. I have the belief that whatever you put in your body is how
you’re going to live your life. So if you want to be healthy and you want to live a
fulfilling life, you need to have that access. Everyone eats, across all cultures. Food is
a, you know, universal. And having fresh food, fresh produce, it should be a universal right.
Creating healthy food access is just a really awesome way to connect with people of all
different cultures and classes. Grocery stores are cornerstones of a community. And people
are more likely to lead healthier lives if they live near neighborhood supermarkets that
have healthy food options. I think the Healthy Food Financing Initiative is a wonderful thing
for the state. I mean you’re not only providing fresh food for people, but you’re also providing
a sense of community, more jobs. I mean how wonderful that they would be able to employ
more people and their business can grow from that. It can change the landscape in a really
dramatic way. It’ll improve our local farm economy. It’ll improve our public health.
And really growing a really vigorous local food movement. I have a desire to see my children
grow up healthy and live, you know, a very successful life. And it all starts, you know,
with me at home, in the community, in the school. We’re making sure that they have what
they need because it’s up to us to provide it first. We must work together toward a healthier
America. Healthy Food Financing will improve the health of both families and communities.
This is our chance to change lives.

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