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Appetizers

Food deserts in St. Johns County, Florida, were recently transformed by an innovative mobile oasis that delivers fresh produce where it’s needed most. The Farm to Family truck is made possible by county farmers who grow produce and stock the truck, which reaches 5,900 families in seven identified food deserts in the county. Offerings are seasonal and change each week; shoppers can go online to see what to expect. The organization’s website also provides recipes and resources.

A pilot experiment by HealthPartners, one of the largest healthcare providers in Minnesota, is literally bearing fruit—and vegetables. In a new strategy for combating childhood obesity, network docs write at-risk 5 to 12-year-old children “ prescriptions” for fruit and vegetables during routine checkups. These vouchers, backed by the healthcare group and redeemable in area supermarkets, look like official prescriptions and aim to get kids invested in making their own healthy choices.

Healthy innovation is alive and well in the Northeast, too. Imagine getting your sweat on in a state-of-the-art Zumba® room and then walking a few feet into the attached grocery store to put some healthy items in your cart for dinner. A Hannaford supermarket in Albany, New York, has been transformed into a 5,600-square-foot health facility, thanks to progressive thinking by the grocery chain, the local YMCA and an area healthcare provider. And cheers for this—it’s free! While there are no plans for more of these wellness centers in the chain, it serves as a good model and resource for the community.

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