Tuesday, September 8, 2009

You Are What You Eat Michiganders!

On Tuesday, August 25, 2009, Jennifer Granholm stood outside of Peaches & Greens, a local Detroit produce store and announced the launch of a food service program that would provide fresh produce to city neighborhoods. A much
needed service for local residents who's diets are suffering due to the recent economic recession.

Detroit has been identified as a place where quality groceries and produce are not readily available. Many Detroit residents are forced to shop for groceries at convenience stores and gas stations because there are few real grocery stores inside the city limits. Many of those have limited operating hours and inflated prices.
Gov. Jennifer Granholm

The innovative program labeled MI (pronounced "my") Neighborhood Food Movers, is the result of a partnership between the state and three nonprofit organizations. In addition to Peaches
& Greens, Up South Foods and Field of Our Dreams
will be joining the team of produce companies that
are expected to hit the streets for a 4-month trial period.

Granholm's program, which will be funded by a $75,000 low-interest loan from the state, will deliver fruits and vegetables to residents with a vendor-style truck, according to the Detroit Free Press. When the produce truck, which will bear a MI Neighborhood Food Movers logo, roves through neighborhoods on a fixed route and schedule, residents in Michigan’s largest city will have the option of healthier food choices and easier access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

Food Movers is focusing on three areas: one bounded by Woodward Ave., Dexter, W. Grand Blvd. and Glendale; the Jefferson/Chalmers area on the East Side; and Forest, E. Jefferson, Mt. Elliott and Conner. Some Detroiters counter that the program may not be successful due to the limitations to routes as well as the "lackadaisical" mentality of many Detroiters who don't seem to take well to programs no matter the convenience or benefit to their overall health.

Jocelyn Harris, 59, a Detroiter who is the proprietor of Up South Foods, appeared overjoyed with the announcement. "This is a miraculous day indeed for many Detroit residents and a dream come true for me," said the former Detroit science teacher. "I can feel this project is destined for greatness."

After the 4-month trial period, the Food Movers program is expected to be able to expand to include more local vendors covering a broader range of geographic areas.


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