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MSU seeks childcare providers for community-based nutrition program

An assortment of vegetables.
Marisol Benitez
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Unsplash
The Growing Healthy Eaters program wants to find 100 childcare providers from some of Michigan’s most economically distressed areas and provide them with free nutrition education.

Michigan State University is recruiting childcare providers across the state to participate in a nutrition awareness initiative.

The Growing Healthy Eaters program wants to find 100 childcare providers from some of Michigan’s most economically distressed areas and provide them with free nutrition education.

The goal is to give the children they serve more access to locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables.

Dawn Earnesty with MSU Extension in Saginaw says the program is also meant to build relationships.

“We also really want to create this replicable and sustainable model which then connects the childcare provider to a farmer,” Earnesty said.

Earnesty says many children live in so-called “food deserts” with little access to healthy options.

“There’s a large amount of ultra processed foods being served to children,” she said. “So, examples you might think of include many processed grains and items that are very convenient to potentially serve to children.”

The program will cover 19 counties, including Genesee, Gratiot and Washtenaw.

The recruitment program will continue through December.

Kevin Lavery is a general assignment reporter and occasional local host for Morning Edition and All Things considered.
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