Solano County, One Of Unhealthiest In State, Targeted With Fresh Food Initiative

DIXON (CBS13) – Several stores in Solano County are undergoing major makeovers this week by offering healthier food options – all because health officials say Solano County residents face major health risks.

“Our residents are dying younger than they should and are sicker than they should be,” said Wendy Loomas with Solano County Public Health.

Health officials are trying to drill home the point that a healthier lifestyle begins with choices. Vibe Solano, a public health initiative, has partnered with four stores that agreed to sell more fruits and vegetables.

Dixon Food and Liquors is one of them.

Newly-built shelves will soon be stocked with produce.

“We’re bringing in bananas, oranges, celery, beets, tomatoes, everything,” said Sarb Grewal with Dixon Food and Liquors.

The program is possible with the help of a $1.2 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control. Solano County is one of 39 communities in the country targeted for this program.

“Solano County has one of the worse diabetes rates and obesity rates in the state of California,” Loomas said.

Why is it considered one of the most unhealthy counties in the state? Health officials say it’s a food desert with very little healthy options at local stores.

Adding to the problem? The high number of commuters.

“So people spend a lot of time in their cars and at work, and by the time they’re at home going out to exercise and buying fresh fruit is not on their list,” Loomas said.

Junk food advertisements are being stripped away.

“I think it’s about time. They have way to much junk food,” said Dixon resident Tracy Robinson. “Kids and people have diabetes and dying from all kinds of diseases because they’re not eating well.”

The message is simple: A healthy start to a healthy community.

The healthy makeover continues through Friday. County health officials say they plan to reproduce these makeovers at numerous locations throughout the county.

More from Ron Jones
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