St. Joe Foundation to offer Double Up at Pontiac Street Market
New grocery addressing access to healthy food
The St. Joe Foundation is now offering its Double Up program at the new Pontiac Street Market, located in what has been identified as a food desert, or an area with little or no access to fresh and healthy foods. A recent Foundation grant to the market helped provide the technology needed to implement Double Up, which provides customers who pay with SNAP (food stamps) a $1 for $1 match on the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables up to $20 a day.
“The Pontiac Street Market is addressing a critical need for access to healthy food that was identified in our recent Vulnerable Populations Study,” says Meg Distler, executive director of the Foundation. “That study documented that many low-income residents, especially those who don’t own cars, only had access to convenience stores that primarily offer low-nutrition foods, like soda, chips and candy. The market helps solve the healthy food access issue and Double Up makes the produce even more affordable.”
The full-service Pontiac Street Market, located at 918 Pontiac St., offers plenty of options for healthy produce, proteins and grains. It is open Mondays through Saturdays 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The nonprofit market was developed and funded by the City of Fort Wayne and Parkview Health. Parkview’s food service provider, Sodexo, operates the market.
Double Up Indiana offers free fruits and vegetables to customers who shop with SNAP at more than 50 locations across Indiana. U.S. Department of Agriculture research shows that people who participate in Double Up eat more fruits and vegetables than the average American and that any increase in produce consumption has a positive impact on health. The St. Joe Foundation first began implementing Double Up in early 2021.