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New initiatives help boost access to healthy food in Indianapolis' food deserts

Posted at 12:03 AM, Jul 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-31 00:04:44-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Two initiatives designed to help the one-third of Indianapolis residents who live in low-food access areas are increasing their efforts to provide fresh, affordable, and healthy foods for Hoosiers.

Lyft is moving forward with its grocery access program after the Indianapolis City-County Council approved the plan earlier this month.

The pilot program will give far east side families with food insecurity $2 roundtrip Lyft rides to or from any of the six grocery stores on the plan. That includes Kroger, ALDI, and Walmart on Pendleton Pike, as well as the A&I Variety Meats and Produce on East 38th Street.

On Monday, A&I helped rolled out another program to address food insecurity on the east side that will expand the Indianapolis Health Food Retail Initiative. Five additional stores will be able to offer fresh food to residents, where shoppers can also participate in 'Heart Smarts' lessons, and earn coupons to keep buying more fresh and healthy foods.

"We partner with a number of local organizations, even the local farm on the far east side, and really believe that this is a comprehensive approach to healthy food access that is really best led from within the community," Karen Shore, with The Food Trust, said.

The expansion of the program was made possible by a donation from the Anthem Foundation.

The other stores along with A&I involved with the Indianapolis Healthy Food Retail Initiative are: Marathon I (9950 East 38th Street), Marathon II (4208 North Post Road) and Tienda Morelos (8989 Pendelton Pike).