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Making Healthy Easy

Making Healthy Easy

Sometimes it’s the simple things that make the biggest difference. In my case, that simple thing was a carton of fresh strawberries. I recently volunteered for one of UnitedHealthcare’s “Do Good. Live Well.” fresh produce distribution projects in St. Paul, MN where I had the opportunity to make healthy easier for those in need. It was a hot day – one of those Minnesota hot (AND HUMID) days – and I thought I had signed up to complete a very simple and mundane task, but I quickly learned it was much more than that.

I happened to be stationed at the table giving out cartons of fresh strawberries, so I had the brightest, best smelling display by far. One gentleman saw my table and had the best reaction I could imagine. With bright eyes and a giant smile he shouted, “Strawberries! You have strawberries!” His reaction melted my heart. I sensed immediately that what I was doing was so much more than handing out cartons of strawberries – I was making healthy easy for folks who really, really needed it.

Right now, strawberries cost ~$2-$4 per pound, but a box of Macaroni and Cheese often costs $1 or less. It’s easier to choose unhealthy options when you’re living in a low income situation. By taking 3 hours out of my Saturday afternoon, I was able to give someone the opportunity to choose healthy options, for free. That day we put smiles on a lot of faces, and that’s something I can feel really good about.

Sara Ball is a social responsibility program manager at UnitedHealthcare.

 

Click here to see pictures from this project.

 

About the Summer Fresh Produce Distributions:
From mid-July to mid-October, UnitedHealthcare’s “Do Good. Live Well.” employee volunteer initiative is teaming up with Second Harvest Heartland and the MN Vikings in partnership with 10 local agencies to provide 61 pop-up markets across the Twin Cities metro area. When the project is complete, we hope to have provided 610,000 pounds of fresh produce (8,000-10,000 pounds per market) to our neighbors in need.


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