July 22nd, 2009
A Healthy Partnership
From Mai Kristofferson, Corporate Communication
They say ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ Well, for many members of the nearby New Brunswick community, (where our world headquarters is located) fresh produce hasn’t always been readily available. That is, until Rutgers University and the city of New Brunswick teamed up to establish a bi-weekly farmer’s market with the help of a grant from Johnson & Johnson.
Opened recently, the market is all about encouraging healthy lifestyle choices in New Jersey inter-cities, especially for those of modest means. Not only can people who visit the market buy locally grown fruits and vegetables, but they can learn about nutrition counseling, cooking demonstrations, and food budgeting and safety practices as well.
When we heard about it, Marc, Rob and I packed up our bags (and a video camera) and headed over to check it out. You can learn more about this effort in this video we put together at the ribbon-cutting ceremony:
As I was sitting in the summer sun at the ribbon cutting ceremony, I was struck by just how important access to fresh fruits and vegetables can be to the health of an entire community. As Rutgers President Richard McCormick explained, many of us fill our diets with empty calories and unhealthy foods. Food choices which result in chronic health conditions are now all too familiar throughout society. Childhood obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases are just a few with correlations to the absence of nutritious food. “These problems,” he said in his speech at the ceremony, “cheat ordinary people of productive and healthy lives.”
Unfortunately, for many communities, it often isn’t easy to gain access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
Though too many communities still lack access to farm-fresh foods, hopefully the recent trend to open more farmers markets in town centers and urban areas will ensure that everyone can get their one apple a day.
Thanks to this initiative, for our neighbors in New Brunswick, an apple a day is no longer far away.