INDIANAPOLIS — A program in Indianapolis that gives more people access to healthy food will now be replicated across the country.
A study from the National Library of Medicine shows that between 2019 to 2022, healthy foods increased in price by nearly 13%, while non-healthy foods only increased by 9%.
The city brought the Good Food for All program to Indianapolis in hopes of increasing the access to healthier food options.
Participants received 50 servings of fresh fruit and vegetables for 10 weeks. During the second phase, for three months, families were given $50 in monthly produce credits.
“Things that are good for you cost the most,” Lashi Young, Good Food for All participant, said.
Young didn’t always eat as healthy as she does now. She received free produce through the program weekly. She picked her box up at Voices, one of the local non-profits that helps identify those in need.
“I’m on my fruit intake, I’m on my vegetable intake. I’ve been eating fruits and vegetables I’ve never even heard of before so it kind of helped me continue to eat healthy,” Young said.
Program officials say the goal was to figure out what Hoosiers need.
“What do our residents need? How do they want to receive the services that we offer? The one thing that we heard was just how impactful the program was for them,” Milele Kennedy, Director of the Division of Community Nutrition and Food Policy for the City of Indianapolis, said.
The program has served over 2,000 people across the city. The city says 78% continued to eat healthy after the program was over.
“It just gave me the push to be like, it’s good for your health so go ahead and get it,” Young said.
She hopes this program is something that becomes permanent in Indianapolis.
“I hope they see that food resources are very highly needed and it’s up there with housing,” Young said.
The city hopes to continue to provide these resources.
“We need to listen to our residents more and learn about what they need, how they need it and how we can provide it,” Kennedy said.
The City of Indianapolis is working with the group partnership for a healthier America and other non-profits. They’re trying to double the consumption of produce in Marion County in 2030.