AHA begins fruits, veggies campaign

MARQUETTE – National Eating Healthy Day will take place Wednesday, and the American Heart Association has begun a new campaign to remind people of the importance of eating fruits and vegetables.

The “+color” campaign attempts to highlight the significance of adding more colorful fruits and vegetables to meals, as they can help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and other illnesses, according to a press release from the AHA.

However, AHA officials said about 1.8 million Michiganders, including 300,000 children, lack access to fresh produce, meats and dairy.

Meanwhile, AHA representatives are hoping for resources to open up low interest loans and grant opportunities to grocery stores, corner stores and farmers markets in economically disadvantaged communities by advocating in support of a bill introduced last year by state Rep. Dave Pagel, R-Oronoko Township.

“House Bill 5180 will increase healthy food access where it is needed most,” Dave Hodgkins, government relations director of the AHA Michigan, said in the release. “The American Heart Association, along with our partners, is working to make the healthy choice an easier choice for all Michiganders in an effort to reduce cardiovascular disease.”

The bill would also enable farmers to invest in infrastructure and technology upgrades, and allow communities to invest in improved health, job creation and economic development, according to the release.

For more information, visit healthyfoodmi.heart.org.

Ryan Jarvi can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 270. His email address is rjarvi@miningjournal.net.