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Report: Michigan's rural communities lack healthy food access

Mar 22, 2015

A new report shows some of Michigan's rural communities don't have enough grocery stores.
Credit jamesjyu / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan’s urban communities aren’t the only places lacking when it comes to having access to fresh, healthy foods.

A new report from the Food Trust says residents in some of the state’s rural areas are limited when it comes to grocery stores and other sources for fresh meats and produce.

Katherine Knoll is regional vice president of the American Heart Association in Michigan.

“We’ve all traveled around our state and hit areas of the state where you can go for quite some time without reaching a supermarket or even a convenience store.”

Communities cited in the report as not having enough grocery stores include Cadillac, Coldwater and Houghton.

Knoll said improving access to healthy foods is key to fighting Michigan’s high obesity rate.

“It’s one thing to tell people they need to meet the recommendation of five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day, but another when they can’t go out into their communities and get that access,” Knoll said.

The report said 1.8 million of the state's residents need better access to supermarkets.