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INDIANAPOLIS — UIndy students are bringing fresh produce to people on the south side of Indianapolis at a time when it’s needed most.
“We planted the gardens in April and we start harvesting in June, and the produce is organic and distributed to anyone who needs it,” Gurinder Hohl, director of partnership for UIndy and Community Health Network, said.
Teaching students about food insecurity and community organizing, UIndy partners with the non-profit SoIndy — which collaborates with La Luz Del Mundo church on the south side — to hand out the fresh produce grown from the gardens as well as non-perishable food items donated by Gleaners Food Bank to anyone who drives by.
“They are learning how important it is to be able to understand what the needs of the communities are and how to engage with the communities so we can address those needs in a meaningful manner,” says Hohl.
“Actually being able to have my hands on it and watch it flourish throughout the season and now he can go to people I think there’s sort of art to it,” says Gavin Craig, a recent Indy graduate.
“Being a public health major, I’ve obviously seen food disparities in food deserts everywhere in my community,” Bronwyn Getts, a junior at UIndy, said. “About being able to actually contribute and be someone that grows produce and delivers it to people so that they could have food and have good healthy options that aren’t just Ramen from the store, it really gives me a sense of pride within my community because I feel like I’m helping people that actually need it.”
Because the SoIndy community is in a food desert, the need to provide safe access to healthy food is critical. Especially now.
“We have more and more individuals are experiencing unemployment due to the Covid pandemic which has increased food and security so they need to definitely more access and consistent access to food,” Hohl said.
“I really just want people to be inspired to work in their community,” Wyngetts said. “Even if it’s not gardening, especially in times like these there’s so many opportunities to help those in need.”