Innovative "Ripe 'N Ready" market helps fill food gap on Indy's west side

INDIANAPOLIS -- A Haughville man is ministering to his neighbors by providing them access to fresh food at prices anyone can afford.

JR Dalton launched Ripe 'N Ready more than two years ago after seeing a need in his community on Indianapolis' west side. 

"I always noticed that there was never in the produce section senior citizens or little kids. I would go over and interview people: 'Why aren't you in that section?' and they'd say 'Oh, sir, we would love to have an apple. We would love to have a banana, but tomatoes are so expensive.'"

Every day the selection inside Dalton's store at the corner of Washington Avenue and Warman Avenue varies based on what's brought in and what he can get from other places.

His market doesn't receive any government funding or grants but Dalton says he pays less than market value for produce that's just past its expiration date and then sells it at significantly reduced prices to those in his community. 

"If it's a dollar at the big store, it's a quarter here."

All of the proceeds from the sales at Ripe 'N Ready benefit the food pantry that Dalton runs at a nearby church on Saturdays. 

Dalton says he also uses some of the money he earns at his used tire shop across the street to help feed the hungry. 

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