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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Michelle Obama Makes a Deal with Walgreens

Posted By on Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 8:22 AM

click to enlarge Michelle Obama proves that the White House is not in a food desert.
  • Michelle Obama proves that the White House is not in a food desert.

According to the Obama Foodorama blog, Michelle Obama announced at a press conference yesterday that Walgreens, Walmart, and SuperValue, as well as several regional grocers, have agreed to open 1,500 stores in regions designated "food deserts."

The term refers to urban areas where a third of the residents have no source for fresh produce within one mile, or rural areas where people have to drive 10 miles or more to get to a grocery store. It's unclear whether the federal government will be giving financial assistance to these giant corporations, but it sounds like Ms. Obama's Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), as well as another Department of Health and Human Services program, may commit several tens of millions of dollars to the new initiative.

Is the First Lady making a deal with the devil? Many of us in the Bay Area think of Walmart as the scourge of the independent grocer -- for good reason -- and Walgreens as a convenient place to pick up a lot of supplies but nowhere to brag about shopping. But SFoodie thinks this is a fantastic development.

UP NEXT: Walmart and Walgreens may be tacky, but they mean better nutrition for all Americans.

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Jonathan Kauffman

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