Fresh food for all

$200 million fund will bring healthful food to California’s “food deserts”

As part of her ongoing effort to curb childhood obesity by helping to change eating habits, First Lady Michelle Obama recently launched a program designed to bring grocery stores to California’s “food deserts,” according to media sources.

The California FreshWorks Fund—conceived of by private health foundation The California Endowment and modeled on Pennsylvania’s Fresh Food Financing Initiative—will loan $200 million to provide better access to healthful foods in low-income areas where fast food is in close proximity. The fund will provide financing at or below market rate to large and small retailers willing to offer more fresh produce and other healthful choices.

According to an analysis by nonprofit Social Compact, almost 4.4 million Californians live in areas with limited or no access to healthful food.