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Lyft provides $2 deal to get Indianapolis residents to the grocery store

Posted at 8:58 PM, Jul 31, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS — For just $2 round trip a Lyft driver will pick Indianapolis residents up at their home and take them to a nearby grocery store — like 'A&I Meats and Produce' on the east side.

Food insecurity is a severe problem in Indianapolis and as the city has seen in the recent past when grocery stores leave — they don't always come back.

"There's no real grocery stores close that you can walk to," Matthew Marsh, an east side resident, said. "Like me, we are on the way to the bus to get to Dollar General so I can get him some food."

What Marsh was doing when RTV6 talked with him is what a lot of folks do on the east side — take the bus to a nearby store if they don't have their own transportation.

"That's what I do 90 percent of the time because I depend on my kids, but they all work," Bessie Gabin, a resident on the east side, said.

In Indianapolis, one-in-five people live in a food desert, meaning it's difficult to find affordable, quality, healthy food. And that's a problem the new partnership between the ride-sharing app, Lyft, and the city aims to knock away.

There are six stores the 'Lyft Grocery Access Program' will bring people to once a week who live within a specific area.

"Right now it's just a trial basis. We are seeing how it works," Rev. Lola Bartlett, with Mount Carmel Baptist Church, said. "So you have to live between 38th and 46th Street and between German Church and Franklin Road."

Reverend Bartlett is managing the program and in charge of getting the word out to families.

"[We're] Going through the neighborhoods, handing out flyers, handing out cards, we are posting it on our website," Bartlett said.

All families have to do is download the Lyft app, put in their address, which will verify you're within the boundaries, then the program will pop up as an option to select.

People can also sign up in person at Mount Carmel Baptist Church (9610 East 42nd Street). Families must also take three short surveys during the six-month program.

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