The Montgomery County Food Bank and the American Heart Association are launching a nutrition security initiative in eastern Montgomery County with the debut of a monthly mobile food market May 18 at Milam Elementary, located at 16415 FM 3083, Conroe.

The market will provide access to healthy food and nutrition education, according to a media alert from the American Heart Association.

The initiative is funded by Black Pearl Technology and Misti Jeter, according to the association, and is funded through October. The association said it hopes to secure funding to extend the monthly market through May 2023.

Known as the Healthy Hearts Initiative, the monthly market is the first in Montgomery County, according to information from the American Heart Association.

Members of the surrounding community can come to the mobile market beginning at 5 p.m., according to the association. The subsequent distribution at Milam Elementary School will take place June 15 at 5 p.m. Additional market locations throughout Montgomery County can be found here.

According to the American Heart Association, people living in areas with limited access to healthy and affordable food may have shorter life expectancy and suffer from complex health problems. On the contrary, communities with easy access to fresh fruits and vegetables are more likely to have a lower risk of developing heart disease, lower blood pressure, less inflammation and lower cholesterol.

The area surrounding Milam Elementary is considered a food desert, according to the American Heart Association.

"We're able to disseminate information on chronic disease prevention and management with healthy food, fruits and vegetables, so it's the perfect pairing of health education ... along with fruits and vegetables. And then we're also able to strategize on how to pick the perfect area where perhaps there are problems with access," said Lharissa Jacobs, vice president of health strategies for the American Heart Association. "The vision is to be able to meet the needs of people in food deserts all over the Montgomery County area, in particular communities that are really in need. This is just the beginning."