HEAL Markets help families afford fresh fruits and vegetables

Locally grown produce will be on sale starting July 13 at the three HEAL Markets, which are located in food deserts. Food deserts are areas within the community that have low access to fresh food and a significant number of low-income families. 

HEAL stands for Healthy Eating Active Living and is a partnership between the St. Joseph Community Health Foundation and Parkview Health. HealthVisions Midwest of Fort Wayne operates the markets.

Just like in years past, an abundance of locally grown produce will be available at all three locations; WIC (Women, Infants & Children) vouchers, Senior vouchers, and all SNAP (food stamp) purchases will be matched $1 for $1. That means anyone using SNAP or WIC/Senior vouchers gets double the amount of fresh fruit and vegetables for their family. Veggie RX, a Parkview Health program, is also accepted, as are cash, credit, and debit payments.

HEAL Market locations and times are:

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

“The combination of rising costs, supply chain issues, and the end of pandemic SNAP benefits is squeezing the food budgets of many local families,” said Meg Distler, executive director of the foundation. “The HEAL markets double the buying power for many low-income residents so they can stretch their food dollars while also feeding their families highly nutritious fruits and vegetables.”

Again this year, the WIC Office will be on-site at the McCormick Place and Parkview Health Greenhouse markets to issue WIC produce vouchers to those who qualify until all vouchers are distributed. Vouchers and the $1 for $1 match are accepted all summer long at any of the HEAL markets.

HEAL Markets are the only farmers markets in the area that double the amount of purchases with WIC and Senior produce vouchers. SNAP is doubled at all HEAL Markets, Plowshares/Rose Farm mobile markets, Fort Wayne’s Farmers Market, the 3 Rivers Food Co-Op, and the Health Food Shoppe of Fort Wayne as part of Double Up Indiana. (Learn more at DoubleUpIndiana.org.)

HealthVisions Midwest and the St. Joe Foundation are sponsored by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ.