INDIANAPOLIS – A great deal of effort is being made right now to bring healthy foods to areas where these options are not available.
“We need access to food and healthy food,” said La Keisha Jackson, District 14 councilor.
Jackson has seen firsthand how lack of food can lead to inequalities. She represents the Far East Side of Indianapolis and is therefore committed to change. Jackson plans to apply for the Justice Food Systems Grant in Indianapolis Neighborhoods. It’s a $ 2.45 million effort that she says will change your life.
“We deserve these things,” Jackson said, “we need these things in our communities.”
The grant comes from the LISC (Local Initiative Support Corporation) and the Anthem Foundation.
Neighborhoods will apply by putting forward food insecurity plans such as creating communal kitchens, helping farmers, and food or cellular markets.
“We will provide data experts and food experts to assist in the process and development of this plan,” said Program Officer Shelbi Cummings, addressing an entire food ecosystem within the geography of their choice. “
She stated that 23 of the 36 postcodes in Indianapolis are more likely to be poor than the national average.
“As of 2019, one fifth of Indianapolis residents will be living in a food wasteland. Some of the communities that are most needed, ”said Cummings.
There is initiative counseling that helps in deciding which neighborhood to choose for the grant money. Only one community will be selected for this first project. The advisory board consists of food and program managers and some social determinant executives who evaluate the proposals to determine the promise of completing the project. City officials will also help with the selection.
“We have had some significant barriers to accessing healthy food in our communities, especially in our color communities,” said Milele Kennedy, director of nutrition and food policy for the city of Indianapolis. “This is the first opportunity we have.” In the city, we had to grow the community’s food needs really fast. “
The hope is that this program will help provide communities with fair access to food in the long term.
“It’s well overdue,” added Jackson.
Although this grant is currently focused on one neighborhood, there are plans to expand it. Click here to learn more about who is eligible and how to apply.
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