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M. Obama promotes affordable healthy foods

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama greets audience members after announcing a new commitment from nationwide grocery store chains and her Lets Move! program that will open and expand grocery stores into food desert areas, parts of the country where people lack access to grocery stores and their fresh produce, during an event at the White House in Washington, July 20, 2011. Obama was joined by owners and employees of some of the chains participating in the program. UPI/Kevin Dietsch
U.S. first lady Michelle Obama greets audience members after announcing a new commitment from nationwide grocery store chains and her "Lets Move!" program that will open and expand grocery stores into "food desert" areas, parts of the country where people lack access to grocery stores and their fresh produce, during an event at the White House in Washington, July 20, 2011. Obama was joined by owners and employees of some of the chains participating in the program. UPI/Kevin Dietsch | License Photo

WASHINGTON, July 20 (UPI) -- U.S. first lady Michelle Obama Wednesday made a pitch for the administration's goal that all Americans have access to fresh, healthy, affordable food.

At a White House news conference attended by representatives from a number of food retailers, Obama announced the start of a Healthy Food Financing Initiative as part of the "Let's Move" effort to end childhood obesity.

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She said the Obama administration is committing $35 million this year and another $330 million for the next year.

"And the plan is to use that money to leverage hundreds of millions more from the private and non-profit sectors," she said.

Obama said the effort will not take a cookie-cutter approach to the problem of making sure all neighborhoods have access to affordable, healthy food.

"And we want folks to be creative because there's really no one-size-fits-all solution to this issue here," she said. "Every community has different needs and challenges that call for different approaches. A fresh food section in a Walgreens might be a good solution for one community, while a farmers market or maybe even a veggie truck might be the answer in another community."

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Obama said the program has the potential to transform neighborhoods.

"But more importantly, think about the impact that we can have on our children and their futures -- on their health, their well-being, their ability to succeed in school and more importantly in life," she said. "Because that's really what this is about in the end. This is about our kids."

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