Last week, the American Heart Association recognized Rep. Mike Rohrkaste (R-Neenah) with the Friend of Heart award at the 2018 Fox Cities Go Red For Women event. This award is in honor of Rep. Rohkaste’s support of a new law that creates a pilot program to incentivize FoodShare participants to purchase healthy foods.
Rep. Rohrkaste authored this legislation last fall that was signed into law earlier this year. The law creates the Healthy Eating Program pilot, which addresses the issue of healthy food access.
“Healthy eating habits are essential to a healthy heart and mind. But healthy eating also reduces the chance of chronic diseases, which can come at a significant personal and financial cost,” said Rep. Rohrkaste. “This is especially true for Wisconsinites who may not be able to afford or easily access healthy foods.”
The Healthy Eating Program is a pilot program that offers FoodShare participants point-of-sale discounts on fresh produce and other healthy foods. The initial program will include 2,000 FoodShare participants in urban and rural Wisconsin with the hope that it will be expanded to all FoodShare participants as the outcomes are realized.
“The American Heart Association recognizes that access to healthy food is an incredible barrier to a healthier diet and a longer life free of cardiovascular diseases,” said Dr. Carrie Chapman, an Appleton cardiologist and member of the American Heart Association’s Wisconsin Advocacy Committee. “It takes new laws like the one Rep. Rohrkaste authored to break down this barrier and we are thankful for his leadership on this critical issue.”