HEAL Markets help those living in food deserts

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Organizations and farmers are teaming up once again this year to help people offset the costs of higher food prices by offering them affordable healthy food options.

The HEAL markets that kicked off at Fort Wayne on Wednesday.

George McCowan is one of the farmers taking part in The Healthy Eating Active Living or HEAL Markets that kicked off the season Wednesday in three different locations in Fort Wayne.

The goal of HEAL Markets is to help people like Sharon Ghant and families who are struggling with the high cost of inflation, the end of Pandemic SNAP benefits and tight food budgets for families.

“It’s allowing me to really spend money on things other than high-carb foods and foods that aren’t as nutritious,” Ghant said.

“Definitely been an encouragement for me to look for what is good and go and look up recipes of what I am able to purchase at the market,” Ghant said.

The program allows people who have SNAP, WIC or Senior vouchers to purchase fresh produce and get double the amount of food.

HEAL Markets is a collaboration between St. Joseph Community Health Foundation and Parkview Health.

Mary Tyndall of St. Joseph Community Health Foundation is one of the organizers and says these markets help a lot in need.

“Everybody wants to feed their family healthy foods right and some people struggle a little bit to feed them those healthy foods because they just don’t have the income, especially right now with inflation so high and so it’s a relief to so many families, said Tyndall.

Registered dietician Michelle Bojrab-Wray of Parkview Health says these programs help encourage healthy eating in the community.

“We know the impact that fresh fruits and veggies have everyday has on our overall health. We encourage Americans to consume at least five servings of fresh fruits and veggies everyday,” said Bojrab-Wray.

McCowan has deep roots in Fort Wayne and says being a part of this program just feels like the right thing to do to empower the community.

“Feeding people and nurturing people is what I do,” McCowan said.

HEAL Market locations and times are:

  • McCormick Place Market, 3005 McCormick Ave., Wednesdays, July 13-September 28, 5-7 pm
  • Parkview Health Greenhouse Market, 1716 Beacon St., Thursdays, July 14-October 27, 4-6 pm
  • South Side Farmers Market, 3300 Warsaw St., Saturdays, July 16-October 29, 8 am-Noon.

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