SoCal Market Receives Visit From First Lady

New stores are designed to bring fresh food to underserved area

By Yvonne Beltzer, Gordon Tokumatsu and Sarah Grieco
|  Wednesday, Feb 1, 2012  |  Updated 3:46 PM PDT
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    In one of her final stops on her Southern California visit Wednesday, First Lady Michelle Obama dropped by a supermarket that is about to open in Southern California.

    Obama went to an Inglewood market to celebrate progress on the California FreshWorks Fund, which is aiming to provide fresh food in underserved neighborhoods.

    The $200 million cash infusion will help them open some 1,500 stores nationwide.

    One of the stores is in City Heights, called Number 36 Northgate Gonzales Market. The store opened in San Diego on Oct. 20 last year.

    The Northgate chain is opening stores in communities where other supermarkets have left.
    People waiting to see Mrs. Obama outside the fence surrounding the market admitted there were few places to shop for fresh food in the underserved neighborhood.

    Cheryl Heard, an Inglewood resident who is a mother of two and a grandmother of three, said she knew all too well the challenges of grocery shopping in this area of Inglewood.

    “It’s hard to find good quality, you know, nutritious food,” she said.

    That was why Mrs. Obama selected the SoCal location to make some important points about her crusade against childhood obesity and encouraging Americans to eat a healthier diet.

    “It’s a story about bringing fresh, healthy, affordable food into communities that need it the most,” she said, standing in front of a display of red, yellow and green peppers and other produce.

    The First Lady said it was all about giving parents options.

    “If they want to pick up a head of lettuce to make a salad, they shouldn’t have to get on a bus.”

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