A $2.5 million grant will help build a new grocery store in an Indianapolis "food desert."
According to the Indianapolis Star, the grant from the Anthem Foundation and the Local Initiatives Support Corp. of Indianapolis will be used to help local business owners build a new 14,000-square-foot store called Indy Fresh Market at 38th Street and Sheridan Avenue.
The newspaper reported that the intersection is located within a low-income census tract where about 6,000 residents live more than 1 mile away from the nearest traditional grocery store.
The owners of the new store, Michael McFarland and Marckus Williams, currently operate Wall Street Grocery in the city. They plan to close Wall Street Grocery when Indy Fresh Market opens.
"We have a personal vested interest in a grocery store," McFarland said. "Other companies, you know, they're [about the] bottom dollar, so they don't have any personal attachments. I think that our personal attachment, our personal determination, our love for the neighborhood, will help us keep it open and help provide our community with healthy food."
Nearly 20% of Indianapolis residents live in a food desert — a low-income neighborhood where at least 200 people or one-third of the population live more than a mile from a grocery store — according to 2020 data from the SAVI program at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.