March 9, 2023

Fresh food delivery for more than 600 Indianapolis families part of new program

A food demonstration at Gleaners highlighted the Good Food for All program. (Jill Sheridan/WFYI)

A food demonstration at Gleaners highlighted the Good Food for All program. (Jill Sheridan/WFYI)

Healthy food access is the focus of a new program that delivers food to Indianapolis residents. 

Many Indianapolis residents struggle to obtain fresh fruits and vegetables. Food deserts, high prices, and a lack of transportation are barriers for families. The Good Food For All initiative delivers fresh fruit and vegetables to 640 households.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe said that makes an impact. 

“When good options become the easier option, people make good decisions,” Hogsett said.

The program, from nonprofit Partnership for a Healthier America – or PHA – teams the city and Instacart Health.

Households are given a monthly stipend to purchase food that is delivered to their home.  Most of the families are on the Far Eastside, where many neighborhoods are in food deserts.

The Indianapolis Office of Public Health and Safety facilitates the program through its Division of Community Nutrition and Food Policy. Director Milele Kennedy said the loss of federal SNAP benefits this month has hit families hard.

“Not just the loss of those benefits, but a lot of other pandemic-era benefits ending, including housing support, rental assistance…it’s hitting them all at once,” Kennedy said.

The office has worked with PHA since last year on the health food access issue.

Other work expands outreach programs that bring fresh food to communities and urban gardens.  The division has a goal to double consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables in Marion County by 2030.

“We know that food is not just nourishment – it’s health care, it’s therapy and it’s the foundation of a healthier community,” Kennedy said.

According to PHA’s Food Equity Opportunity Map, more than 75 percent of census tracts in Indianapolis are in need of more equitable food access.

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

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