HEAL Markets kick off July 10

Markets offer affordable fruits and veggies in food desert locations

Locally grown and affordable fruits and vegetables will be for sale starting July 10 at the three area HEAL Markets, which are located in food deserts, or neighborhoods with low access to fresh food and a significant number of low-income families. The markets are unique because they accept and double the WIC and Senior produce vouchers and SNAP benefits low-income residents receive. 

“Good nutrition is critical to leading a healthy life, and that’s why the St. Joe Foundation supports access to affordable and nutritious fruits and vegetables for vulnerable people in our community,” 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 and locally grown fruits and vegetables.” 

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) produce vouchers, Senior produce vouchers, and all SNAP (food stamp) purchases will be matched $1 for $1, while funding remains. 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. Spanish and Burmese interpretation services will be available at the McCormick Place and Parkview Greenhouse locations.

HEAL Market locations and times are:

  • McCormick Place Market, 3005 McCormick Ave., Wednesdays, July 10-September 11, 5-7 p.m. 
  • Parkview Health Greenhouse Market, 1716 Beacon St., Thursdays, July 11-September 12, 4-6 p.m.
  • South Side Farmers Market, 3300 Warsaw St., Saturdays, July 13-October 26, 9 a.m.-Noon.

Again this year, the WIC office and Aging & In-Home Services will be on site at the McCormick Place and Parkview Health Greenhouse markets to issue a limited number of WIC and Senior produce vouchers to those who qualify. The vouchers are electronic and will be issued to a smart phone or with a QR code. WIC and Senior participants should contact the WIC office or Aging & In-Home Services to stay informed of when and how the vouchers will be available. Vouchers and the $1 for $1 match are accepted at any of the HEAL markets. 

HEAL Markets are the only farm markets in the area that double the produce purchased with WIC and Senior vouchers. SNAP is now doubled at all HEAL Markets, Plowshares Burmese specialty markets, Fort Wayne’s Farmers Market, Plowshares at Union Street Market, the 3 Rivers Food Co-Op, Pontiac Street Market, Hardy’s Farm Market, Hungry Dog Farm, and the Health Food Shoppe of Fort Wayne as part of Double Up Indiana. (Learn more at DoubleUpIndiana.org.) 

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