b'CONCLUSIONOur work over the past two years has revealed important and, perhaps, under-appreciated realities about peoples ability to access the fruits and vegetables that could make a critical difference in the rates of diet-related illnesses. Diabetes, obesity, hypertension and elevated cholesterol are per-vasive problems in our region. At the same time, in our region only 1 in 7 adults eats the recom-mended daily amount of fruits, and only 1 in 10 eats the recommended amount of vegetables. This is not simply a matter of making better snack choices. Food insecuritythe uncertainty of having enough food on a regular basisis a real problem in our counties, particularly among children.For the diverse range of community members that we assessed through survey data and inter-views, the most common barriers to putting fruit and vegetables on the table are cost and the time it takes to shop for and prepare such foods. Having a place to shop and transportationthe issues addressed by the traditional retail approachconsistently fell at the bottom of the barriers list. The food retail landscape as we know it serves some people well, but many still experience barriers for which creative solutions are warranted.There are numerous programs of promise in the Finger Lakes that are addressing these more common barriers, such as Foodlinks Curbside Market and the Kids Farmers Markets in Chemung County. But more programs and initiatives with a diverse cross section of partners are needed to broaden the impact. For example, local farmers would love to sell more produce to schools, and school food service directors would love to buy more. But cost (again) is a barrier on both sides. Timing is also an issuefresh, local produce is most abundant for only a short slice of the school yearwhich raises issues of preparation and storage. These are all subsequent barriers to making fruits and vegetables readily available that we have yet to overcome.Effectively reducing the rates of diet-related illness in the Finger Lakes by increasing access to healthy foods will require solutions that balance personal priorities with systemic convenience. Yes, consumers should be expected to make good, healthy choices about what they and their families eat on a regular basis. But its incumbent upon the systemthe community, the programs, the government agenciesto make it convenient for consumers to follow through on the choices were asking them to make.Yes, consumers should be expected to makegood, healthy choices about what they eat.But its incumbent upon the system to make it convenient for consumers to follow throughon the choices were asking them to make.37'