FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The St. Joseph Community Health Foundation and Parkview Health have joined forces once again to sell locally owned produce at HEAL markets. The first of three market locations opens on Wednesday.
The HEAL effort stands for Healthy Eating and Active Living.
“The HEAL Farm Markets are markets that are intended to serve underserved communities,” said Sharon Tubbs, director of HealthVisions Midwest Fort Wayne. “Our purpose is to reach communities that are food deserts where there aren’t any grocery stores where they can get fresh fruits and vegetables to live healthy lives.”
Although this is the market’s sixth year, Tubbs said the pandemic highlighted the need for the community to be as healthy as possible.
“Some of our hardest hit communities were communities that are plagued by diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, lack of nutrition,” said Tubbs. “Now, those issues exist, not just because people are making choices to eat bad foods, but a lot of times people just don’t have access to the foods they need to live healthier.”
The markets offer “anything you would put in a salad,” according to Tubbs. That includes tomatoes, cauliflower, squash, onions and corn.
The locally grown produce will be available at three locations:
- McCormick Place Market, 3005 McCormick Ave., Wednesdays, July-September, 5-7 p.m.
- Parkview Health Greenhouse Market, 1716 Beacon St., Thursdays, July-September, 4-6 p.m.
- South Side Farmers Market, 3300 Warsaw St., Saturdays, July-October, 8 a.m.-Noon.
Anyone using SNAP or WIC/Senior vouchers gets double the amount of fresh fruit and vegetables for their family. Cash, credit, and debit are also accepted.
“So, if you bring your WIC produce voucher here, and it’s $8, we give you $16 worth of groceries,” said Tubbs. “Where can you beat that?”
As in years past, WIC families can also pick up their produce vouchers at the McCormick Place and Parkview Health Greenhouse markets. Vouchers and the $1 for $1 match can be spent all summer long at any of the HEAL markets, according to Tubbs.