June 8, 2022

Food in Transit kicks off fifth season of improving access to healthy food

Residents shop the food stand. (Jill Sheridan WFYI)

Residents shop the food stand. (Jill Sheridan WFYI)

Access to healthy food can be difficult for many in Indianapolis. A program that marks its fifth year addressing that problem opened this week.

Food in Transit launched in 2018 at the Julia M. Carson Transit Center in downtown Indianapolis. The central location allows transit riders to connect with fresh, local produce at low prices. Growing Places Indy Executive Director Victoria Beaty said access to healthy food options has been hard for many.

“For our residents who live in low-income communities and communities of color, finding quality fresh foods can mean traveling long distances and paying high prices for wilting vegetables and over-ripe fruit,” Beaty said.

Residents in these communities face higher rates of diabetes, obesity and other food related health problems.

About a quarter of Marion County residents face food insecurity issues. New this year, the program will offer a ‘pay what you can’ option providing up to $20 in free food.

IndyGo President Inez Evans said that’s a significant program improvement.

“Offers even more flexibility than in the previous four seasons for those who need it most, providing increased access to fresh produce,” Evans said.

The program serves about 50 people a week.

It is funded by $15,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant funds from the Department of Metropolitan Development.  Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said these types of program partnerships can start to make a difference.

“Access to healthy food must not be a luxury in the City of Indianapolis,” Hogsett said, “ It is a fundamental right of every resident.”

SNAP is accepted at the transit center food stand that will run every Tuesday through September.

Contact WFYI city government and policy reporter Jill Sheridan at jsheridan@wfyi.org. Follow on Twitter: @JillASheridan.

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