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Apr 10, 2014 9:35 PM by Victoria Johnson, KSBY News

National Public Health Week focuses on healthy choices

This is National Public Health Week. The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department is taking part in this nationwide event to promote healthy lifestyles by getting out in the community to bring awareness about what the health department has to offer. A Grover Beach resident, who wanted to remain anonymous, said she comes to the Arroyo Grande Food Bank distribution site every week. "A lot of vegetables," she said. "We learn to eat more vegetables, eggs, milk. It does help a lot. I can stretch out the food budget more." She says weekly trips to the Food Bank help keep food on the table for her family. "Being a single mom, you have to pay the bills and it doesn't have much left over for the month so this does help," she said. A tight budget doesn't mean she has to skip the fresh produce. "We give away perishables, dairy products, milk, cheese, and fresh vegetables," said Robert Evans, Food Bank Volunteer. This operation is run by Food Bank employees and volunteers like Larry Will. "This gives me joy and I love the people," said Will. Every week, about 185 people line up to load their carts with healthy food choices. "Yesterday we got broccoli right off the fields," said Frank Hernandez, Food Bank employee. This is a habit the Public Health Department hopes more people will pick up to prevent chronic illness and disease. "In the past 100 years, the public health system in America has added 25 years to the life expectancy to each and every person. As we continue the successes of public health, it is important to help people live better, healthier lives," said Ann McDowell, an epidemiologist for the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department. The free food keeps hundreds healthy and a little less stressed financially each week. The Food Bank distribution site is open every Wednesday in Arroyo Grande starting at 7:30 in the morning at 1275 Ash Street.  



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