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Northeast corridor kicks off equitable food access initiative grants

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The northeast corridor is the first to receive grant funding to expand equitable food access. It’s the first step of a three-year initiative targeting Indianapolis’ food-insecure communities.

The soon-to-open Indy Fresh Market at Shadeland and 38th is one way the community is combating food insecurity. But advocates say just one store won’t solve the long-standing issue. But supporting multiple homegrown groups and nonprofits could be the boost it needs to see that shift.

Community and the youth are the central focus of the work LaShaunda Triplett and her team does with ML&T outreach. The northeast corridor has some of the lowest life expectancy rates in the state, so they are doing what they can to beat those odds.

“In ways we do that with wagons or trucks. So this grant for us will allow us to be able to secure efficient ways to be able to deliver food,” said founder LaShauna Triplett.

Her agency is one of the first planning to apply for the newly released equitable food access initiative grants. Awardees could receive up to $200,000. She’s hoping to use grant funding to expand food delivery with vehicle and refrigeration options.

“The social determinants of health. So, when we begin to change your eating habits be more physical support, our mental health, we can expand our life expectancy,’ Triplett said.

Ashley Gurvitz is CEO of the United Northeast Community Development Corporation. She is grateful for the list of partnering agencies like Anthem and LISC providing the funds.

“Because this is a neighborhood specific for the northeast corridor. We are looking for applicants to originate or help service this specific community,” Gurvitz said.

The community’s voice has been a driving force in developing the plan she says.

“Hopefully it’s a blueprint as there are other neighborhoods across the city of Indianapolis, finding ways to galvanize community and connectedness around food,”Gurvitz said.

Triplett says for many organizations funding like this is a far reach. This initiative brings it closer.

“This application that is just went live, has removed a lot of barriers for smaller organizations,” Triplett said.

The deadline for the intent to apply is March 8, with the final deadline of March 21.