Eskenazi Health Celebrates Opening of Fresh for You Market

Eskenazi Health held a community gathering to announce the opening of the Eskenazi Health Fresh for You Market at the Frank & Katrina Basile Pavilion. The new market is located on the Eskenazi Health downtown campus, directly outside the main entrance to the Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital on The Matthew R. Gutwein Commonground.

The Eskenazi Health Fresh for You Market is located in the Frank & Katrina Basile Pavilion and houses a small grocery area and offers additional services including lunch menus curated in collaboration with local chefs and cooking demonstrations, with online ordering and curbside pick-up available in the near future.

“We understand the impact of food insecurity on an individual’s health and quality of life,” said Lisa Harris, M.D., CEO of Eskenazi Health. “Good nutrition is essential to brain development in children and in preventing, better managing, and even reversing chronic disease as we age.  We believe strongly that this opportunity for good health and a long, vibrant life needs to be available to everyone in our community.”

The Fresh for You Market at the Frank & Katrina Basile Pavilion is a grocery and pantry hybrid serving as a self-sustaining model to address food insecurity by offering grocery items, fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy snacks and pantry staples. The market opened quietly in September 2021 due to restrictions still in place from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The vision and mission of Eskenazi Health continues to play a vital role in the health and well-being of Indianapolis residents, especially those who are most vulnerable,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. “This one-of-a-kind market is the culmination of Indianapolis businesses, community organizations, and Eskenazi Health coming together to improve the health and quality of life of our entire community.”

The Eskenazi Health Fresh for You Market at the Frank & Katrina Basile Pavilion will integrate Eskenazi Health’s partnership with Gleaners Food Bank to offer a market and pantry hybrid serving as a self-sustaining model to address food insecurity, provide nutrition education to our patient population and staff, while supporting local chefs and restaurants in a meaningful way that truly represents the mission of Eskenazi Health.

“The market provides individuals and families with access to food they might not be able to access easily,” said Seth Grant, Eskenazi Health's director of food and nutrition and director of system food strategy for social determinants of health. “No longer being food insecure allows people in our community to succeed in other areas of their lives such as school, their careers and it improves economic stability.”

Partners joining Gleaners Food Bank in supporting Eskenazi Health’s new market include Cummins, Kroger, Indiana Department of Health, Eskenazi Health Foundation, City of Indianapolis and Indiana University School of Medicine.

“Eskenazi Health is committed to breaking through systemic barriers and creating sustainable solutions to combat the social determinants of health many of our patients face,” said Kimberly McElroy-Jones, Ph.D., director for Eskenazi Health community partnerships for community health. “For more than 160 years, we have continued to find and support new ways to address social determinants of health affecting the patients and communities Eskenazi Health serves - including food insecurity.”

“Our patients and the community need to have access to nutritious food required to reduce the need for medication and to prevent chronic illness,” said Amy Carter, director of Eskenazi Health clinical nutrition and lifestyle health. “Eskenazi Health understands the negative impact living in a food desert can have on an individual’s quality of life and thus created the Fresh for You Market to meet the needs of our patients and neighborhood residents struggling with chronic illnesses.”

The Eskenazi Health Fresh for You Market is located on the Eskenazi Health downtown campus, 720 Eskenazi Ave., in the Frank & Katrina Basile Pavilion. The market is open from 10:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday – Friday, with lunch available from 11 a.m. –  1:30 p.m.

“Katrina and I are elated that this Fresh for You Market is located in the Frank & Katrina Basile Pavilion,” said Frank Basile. “It is accessible to so many people and truly will impact health, wellness, and quality of life for patients, visitors, staff, and neighbors alike. In order to have a high quality of life in a community – and happiness, even – it takes a commitment of vital organizations like Eskenazi Health to rise to the challenge of meeting the community’s needs. The Fresh for You Market is just the latest strategy Eskenazi Health has deployed to address food insecurity and hunger in Indianapolis.”

The Eskenazi Health Lifestyle Health & Wellness team will also facilitate on-site nutritional education programs and cooking classes, enabling participants to make healthy meals at home and furthering the work of that team to bridge the gap between nutrition education and food access. These classes will aim to offset social determinants of health barriers by offering a hands-on approach to teaching and focus on preventive health maintenance, pediatric nutrition and chronic disease management.

Keeping with Eskenazi Health’s dedication to the community and local businesses, a goal of the new market is to help local chefs and restaurants advertise their businesses. While supporting the nutritional needs of our patients and employees, Eskenazi Health will also continue to focus on the economic health of the community, promoting local chefs and restaurants by collaborating on a rotating menu from each participating location. Currently, residents in surrounding neighborhoods near Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital struggle with access to nearby grocery store locations, commonly referred to as food deserts. The nearest grocery store location for residents living near Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital is over 1 mile away making it difficult for those without transportation access or those relying on public transportation to acquire nutritious food more readily. Based on the success of the Eskenazi Health Fresh for You Market, there are future plans to continue to expand this concept to other locations throughout Marion County.

Eskenazi Health patient Amanda Bowman has reaped the benefits of the Eskenazi Health Fresh for You Market by using a special voucher program she was qualified to receive thanks to the efforts of Abby Sutterfield, a social worker with Eskenazi Health EMBRACE. Vouchers help relieve food insecurities many individuals may be facing and enable recipients to purchase items from the Fresh for You Market at no cost. Vouchers also provide them the ability to buy additional items at affordable prices without the stigma of shopping in a traditional pantry.

“Going to a grocery store while being sick and going through treatment is difficult. Having the ability to shop for the foods I needed, specifically fresh fruit and vegetables at the Fresh for You Market located right here at the hospital has helped me throughout my entire recovery process,” said Bowman. “I understand the importance eating nutritious food can have on your health, I’m proof that it does have a positive impact on your body while going through vigorous treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation.”

Those interested in shopping at the Eskenazi Health Fresh for You Market at the Frank & Katrina Basile Pavilion may park for free in the public parking garage at Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital, accessible from Dr. Harvey Middleton Way, or access the market using public transportation via the IndyGo Route 10 – 10th Street, which is located directly across the street.

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