Supervalu joins first lady in healthy eating initiative

Michelle Obama
First lady Michelle Obama joined leaders from major retailers, foundations and small businesses announcing commitments that will provide access to healthy, affordable food to millions of people in underserved communities in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, July 20, 2011.
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

The Minneapolis supermarket firm Supervalu has teamed up with first lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move healthy eating initiative.

The first lady wants grocers to move into so-called food deserts — places where stores selling fresh produce are rare. More than 23 million Americans live in such areas, the White House said.

Supervalu plans to build 250 stores in food deserts over the next five years. Michelle Obama praised the Eden Prairie-based Supervalu and other companies at a White House event.

"We know that we can't just throw money at this problem, especially not at this time," the first lady said. "And we know that it won't be solved by government alone or by businesses alone or by communities alone."

President Barack Obama's budget for next proposes spending more than $300 million to promote healthier diets in poor communities.

Walmart committed to open or expand up to 300 stores. Drugstore chain Walgreens said it would begin to sell fruits and vegetables at a thousand of its stores. In addition to bringing fresh groceries to areas where they were previously unavailable, the Obama Administration said the initiative would create jobs in poor communities.

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