HEALTH champions want to get deprived residents eating their greens by taking fruit and veg directly to their doors.

The NHS-sponsored volunteers are targeting two of the most deprived areas in Clacton to turn residents from chip butties to broccoli.

They plan to take the healthy food door-to-door and sell it at cut pricea.

Sue Felgate, leader for the health trainers, said: “It is not going to be easy, but it is something we would love to see happen. We are really keen to get this going. It is about increasing access to fruit and vegetables in areas that are not very near a supermarket.

“It is a bit brought on from Jamie Oliver, and his project to get people cooking and sharing recipes. It is really about getting people interested in food again.”

She said the scheme would see health trainers pro-actively approaching households, and the cheap produce would be backed-up with recipe suggestions and maybe even cooking clubs and tasting sessions.

The van would initially target Jaywick and Pier Ward in central Clacton, areas where poor health is an issue and life expectancy is low compared to nearby districts.

A survey in 2004 listed them among the most deprived 5 per cent of wards in the country.

Ms Felgate said: “Everybody always says to eat healthily is terribly expensive.

“Jaywick does not have a supermarket, but it does have a lot of fast food places.

“People have lost their cooking skills and don’t tend to cook for themselves as much as they used to.”

Kevin Colman, chairman of the Pier Ward Interaction Partnership, which represents people in ward, said: “It is a great idea. If it can help, even in a small way, why not?”

A member of the Jaywick community forum website wrote: “What a great idea. We can no longer afford our five a day and have had to cut back.”

The health trainers are looking into possible suppliers, and they are keen to hear from any resident with feedback or who wants to get involved. You can call the group on 0800 7313133.