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IU Health Healthy Food Access Grant

Open Call for Proposals

Why this matters

The Healthy Food Access Grant is an extension of the work started in 2011 with the Garden on the Go® program to address obesity in the Indianapolis community. According to the USDA, between 25 and 30 million (9%) Americans are currently living in communities that do not provide adequate access to healthy food within a mile of their home. In Indianapolis, it is estimated that over 300,000 (36%) residents live in food deserts and have limited access to healthy and affordable food options. Indianapolis is reported as having the highest incidence of food deserts in the country (USDA, 2014).

The lack of consumption and lack of access to healthy affordable food, particulary fresh produce, contributes to a poor diet and often can lead to higher rates of obesity and other diet-related diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. Approximately 31% of Marion County residents are considered obese, up nearly 7% from 2010. When controlling for obesity, weight-related health problems, and health of environment, the Indianapolis area ranks among the worst metropolitan areas in the United States in terms of health.

In sum, obesity is on the rise while increasingly more Indianapolis residents have less access to healthy and affordable food, which can contribute to lower consumption rates of fresh fruits and vegetables and higher rates of diet-related diseases.


Grant award range: Varies, not to exceed $100,000

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

Geographic Restriction: Marion County

Applicants must be a 501(c)(3) public charitable organization or a public entity partnering with a 501(c)(3) charitable organization as a fiscal agent. Applicant organizations must be based in the United States or its territories. Awards will be made to organizations, not to individuals.


What we support

To address this important community and population health issue, IU Health Community Outreach and Engagement launched a new Healthy Food Access Grant Initiative specifically aimed at addressing the food deserts and corresponding health-related issues in Indianapolis. Inspired by its Garden on the Go® program, IU Health will transition from supporting a mobile produce program and expand its reach into the local food access arena by supporting projects/initiative that have the potential of reaching a larger number of Indianapolis residents.

IU Health's Healthy Food Access Initiative will provide funding for efforts that (a.) engage local residents in finding suitable solutions, (b.) are collaborative in nature, (c.) have the potential to be market-sustainable and/or leverage additional funding, (d.) focus on achieving specific health-related outcomes, and (e.) combat the declining access to healthy and affordable foods in low-resource Indianapolis neighborhoods.

Prior to submitting an application for the Healthy Food Access Grant Initiative, please contact:

Kaliah Ligon
Project Manager
Community Outreach & Engagement
Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital
317.962.6128 (office) I 317.270.0942 (mobile) I 317.962.3605 (fax)
kligon@iuhealth.org