If the ‘F’ word is ‘fresh,’ then she’s got it cov­ered

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First lady Michelle Obama got very ex­cited about the an­nounce­ment that some re­tail­ers had com­mit­ted to in­creas­ing ac­cess to fresh, healthy food across the coun­try and that $200 mil­lion had been com­mit­ted to fi­nance new stores in un­der­served ar­eas of Cal­i­for­nia. She got so ex­cited that she wanted to use the “F” word Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Biden used re­gard­ing the pas­sage of health­care re­form leg­is­la­tion. “Make no mis­take about it, this is a big deal. It is a re­ally big deal,” Obama said. “I think our vice pres­i­dent put it bet­ter, but I’m not go­ing to use his words,” Obama said to the laugh­ing au­di­ence.

In ad­di­tion to com­mit­ments from re­tail­ers such as Wal­green Co. and Wal-Mart to open more stores in ar­eas with lit­tle ac­cess to healthy food, a $200 mil­lion fi­nanc­ing fund or­ga­nized by the Cal­i­for­nia En­dow­ment was an­nounced, in­clud­ing a $1 mil­lion do­na­tion from Kaiser Per­ma­nente.

Obama, who leads the Let’s Move cam­paign to re­duce child­hood obe­sity, said con­ven­tional wis­dom says busi­nesses wouldn’t com­mit to sell­ing healthy food in cer­tain com­mu­ni­ties, but the an­nounce­ment July 20 proved other­wise. “Still, the com­pa­nies rep­re­sented here to­day are only a tiny frac­tion of the to­tal num­ber of food re­tail­ers in this coun­try. And if they can step up and make these in­vest­ments, then there is ab­so­lutely no rea­son why ev­ery food re­tailer in this coun­try can’t find some way to get in­volved as well,” Obama said. “Right? Can I get an amen or some­thing,” she asked. Joe Biden couldn’t have said it any bet­ter.


Obama greets Josephine Grossi, a Shop ’N Save pro­duce man­ager whose com­pany is par­tic­i­pat­ing in the healthy foods cam­paign.

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