July 5, 2022

Fresh Veggie program makes a splash at select Indianapolis parks

Fresh Veggie program makes a splash at select Indianapolis parks

Fresh fruits and veggies are offered for free at some Indy Parks locations this summer. 

Fresh Veggie Summer targets food desert areas with limited healthy food access in Marion County. Free fruit and veggies are available at two pools, Frederick Douglass in Martindale-Brightwood and Willard Park on the Near East side.

The Office of Public Health and Safety (OPHS), Indy Parks and Midwest Food Bank partnered for the program. OPHS Division of Community Nutrition and Food Policy Director Milele Kennedy said they aim to meet people where they are.

“That means that we put food in places where all residents feel they can access them and that means it may not always be a food pantry,” Kennedy said.

Indy Parks pools are free to residents this summer. The pop-up food distribution events come at a time when residents face inflated prices at the grocery. Transportation costs have also risen.

The focus is on produce but other items including staples and drinks.  Kennedy said they are also giving out recipes.  “If a family sees a vegetable that is not familiar to them, we want them to take it, try it,” she said.

The program runs Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays through the end of July.

An estimated 25 percent of Marion County residents are food insecure.

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

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