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LISC Indianapolis and Anthem Foundation announced Tuesday that the Northeast Corridor in Indianapolis was selected to be the focal point of a three-year, $2.45 million initiative to improve nutritious food access and help build a more equitable food system. 

Joining us today to share all about their initiative was Dr. David Hampton, Executive Director of LISC Indianapolis and Ashley Gurvitz, Executive Director of United Northeast Community Development Corporation. Here’s more from them.

United Northeast Community Development Corporation led the collaboration for the selected proposal. The Northeast Corridor geography is bordered by Fall Creek Parkway (West), Shadeland Avenue (East), East 46th Street (North), East 30th Street /Massachusetts / Sherman Drive (South) and includes zip codes 46205, 46218, 46226, and 46219.

The Equitable Food Access in Indianapolis Neighborhoods initiative, funded by the Anthem Foundation, is a community-based planning and implementation process that convenes residents, community leaders, subject matter experts and civic organizations to develop a vision of equitable food access that will be translated into achievable strategies. Eight Indianapolis communities submitted collaborative applications for review by an advisory committee facilitated by LISC in partnership with Anthem Foundation and the Indianapolis Division of Community Nutrition and Food Policy. 

“The comprehensive and collaborative nature of the submitted proposals proves that Indianapolis neighborhoods are primed for investment when it comes to addressing food access,” said Dr. David Hampton, Executive Director, LISC Indianapolis. “This initiative will directly impact food insecurity in the Northeast Corridor and not only improve healthy food access, but support economic mobility, racial equity and community resiliency.”

A community-based planning and implementation process will now begin in this community that will convene residents, community leaders, subject matter experts and civic organizations to develop a vision of equitable food access, coupled with strategies for physical developments, programmatic partnerships and investment to achieve that vision. The neighborhoods will use a collaborative approach to determine which food projects will be supported, launched or expanded. Emphasis will be placed on ensuring all projects improve food access and economic mobility for the area, are community-led, and help build racial equity.

“United Northeast Community Development Corporation is extremely thankful to serve as the convener for the LISC and Anthem Equitable Food Access Initiative within our incredible Northeast Indianapolis neighborhood,” said Ashley Gurvitz, Executive Director, United Northeast Community Development Corporation“This initiative will help increase food systems connectivity and build food sovereignty in this community for generations to come. While we are very fortunate to have been selected for this investment, it is our hope to remain collaborative and supportive of the ongoing projects throughout all Indianapolis neighborhoods.” 

Anthem is deeply focused on addressing food security and the inconsistent and insufficient access to nutritious food, along with other critical factors that influence the whole health of individuals, families and communities. By addressing these critical social drivers of health, Anthem is focused on the unmet needs which can have an adverse impact on health. 

“Access to food is the most commonly reported unmet social need in the U.S., with 40 percent of households reporting moderate to high levels of food insecurity,” said Shantanu Agrawal, M.D., Chief Health Officer of Anthem, Inc. “The impact is felt in every community, and it’s worse in certain areas, with significant disparities often just a few miles apart. We are enthusiastic about this initiative because it’s an approach to a widespread problem, viewed at the most local level, where the residents of a neighborhood have a voice when it comes to developing and implementing real solutions.” 

This funding is an investment in a community-driven plan for one Indianapolis neighborhood; however, the initiative is built to be scaled to additional neighborhoods as additional capital is secured. 

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