El Paso is 1st county in US to create own Healthy Food Financing Initiative

Image thanks to Heart.org

Image thanks to Heart.org

Here’s an EPT op-ed from County Commissioner David Stout explaining the significant benefits from participating in the Healthy Food Financing Initiative. But before you begin reading, did you know that the majority of El Paso County residents eat less than one serving of fruits and vegetables a day? Now from his op-ed:

In Texas, counties are responsible for public health, and as the commissioner who represents the area in which the County Hospital District is located, health care is a priority for me. In El Paso, there are grave issues with obesity, diabetes and heart disease. One third of our population is uninsured and another third is on Medicaid, which means taxpayers pay for more than half of the medical costs incurred by treating people with these issues. Therefore, as policymakers, it is incumbent upon us to find ways to better health care outcomes and save taxpayers money in the process.

We need to start with the root causes of these illnesses, which all have something in common: one’s diet. After attending a number of conference sessions regarding health care and after meeting with local organizations like El Pasoans Fighting Hunger and the Paso del Norte Institute for Healthy Living, it became evident to me that food insecurity, which is the lack of access to affordable, nutritious food, directly affects the diet of many people in this community. Continue reading