The American Heart Association today applauded lawmakers in the Michigan House for overwhelmingly approving legislation Tuesday to expand access to fresh fruits and vegetables in underserved areas of the state. The bill passed 83-24, receiving strong bipartisan support, and will now be considered by the Michigan Senate.
“We applaud lawmakers in the Michigan House for putting the health and well-being of children across Michigan first, and passing a bill that will increase their chances of growing up healthy and strong,” said David Hodgkins, government relations director for the American Heart Association. “We urge the Senate to swiftly approve this legislation so adults and children throughout the state can enjoy the same fresh fruits and vegetables many of us may take for granted.”
House Bill 4207, sponsored by State Rep. Andy Schor, D-Lansing, encourages grocery store development and reinvestment in underserved areas throughout the state.
“On behalf of the 1.8 million people across Michigan who don’t have easy access to fresh, nutritious foods, we want to thank Rep. Schor for his leadership on this issue,” said Hodgkins.
According to research published by the American Heart Association, people who don’t have access to fresh food have an increased risk of developing early heart disease. Simply living within one mile of a store that sells fresh fruits and vegetables greatly reduces or slows the progression of calcium buildup in the heart’s arteries.