Veggies for Vets provides fresh produce to hundreds of veterans

PHOENIX (FOX 10) - "I'm picking everything," William Mick said.

Retired U.S. Marine William Mick had his pick of delicious fresh fruits and vegetables today.

"I think this is great, really great," he said.

The Vets for Veggies program allowed $10 vouchers to be handed out to 500 heroes.

"Oh good, it's good, really good," one veteran said.

"First of all, they cannot believe how fresh the produce is -- everybody who sees it... 'oh it's so fresh,'" Diana Gregory said.

Diana Gregory started Gregory's Fresh Market 10 years ago by providing fresh produce to seniors and veterans. The concept is simple -- she takes the market to them.

She started setting up at the VA three times a year, thanks to sponsors like Wellcare Health Plan.

"We've learned that there are over four million veterans across the United States that are needing food, there's a lot of food insecurity or they don't have access to fresh produce," said Veronica De La O of Wellcare Health Plan.

"After you pay rent, utilities, and you know, I have a cellphone and you know very important things, there's not much left after that check goes," Remon Ortiz said.

According to Isabel Kozak, assistant chief of staff for community medicine at the VA, studies show that 25 percent of our veterans have diabetes, hypertension and/or heart disease.

"What we really want to do is reinforce good eating habits, cause that's what we need," she said. "We need to reinforce that in their daily routine. We need to make sure that when they shop, they shop for these vegetables."

Eating healthy will help ensure these veterans are doing great, feeling better and making healthier choices.