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HuffPost on 10/31/2023 by Philip Lewis
A recently opened grocery store in Indiana wants to be more than just another place that sells fresh produce. It wants to give residents a place to gather — and provide formerly incarcerated people a second chance.
Indy Fresh Market, which had its grand opening this month, will address food insecurity on the east side of Indianapolis, in an area that previously didn’t have a supermarket for miles. Founder and co-operator Marckus Williams described the area as a food desert where low-income residents struggle to access healthy produce.
“For five or six miles, there was no place to get food anywhere around here unless it was the Family Dollar or gas stations,” Williams explains. The area was once home to Kroger, Walmart and Safeway, but they’ve all closed in the past several years.
“It’s hard out here, and with nothing on the bus line, it’s pretty much impossible to have healthy options for the residents in the community,” he says.
In creating Indy Fresh Market, it was important to Williams for the grocery store to be a second-chance employer — a business that actively hires people with criminal records. He knows how important those second chances are; he was once incarcerated himself.