INDIANAPOLIS – Lt. Gov Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) today announced a partnership to provide fresh produce across Indianapolis through a crowdfunding campaign.
If this project, led by Growing Places Indy, reaches its goal of raising $15,000 by Jan. 30, 2022, Indianapolis residents will soon have access to the first mobile market, the Vegetabus. If successful, Growing Places Indy will receive a matching grant as part of the CreatINg Places program through IHCDA.
“This mobile market will provide fresh food across Indianapolis, bringing affordable produce to families and neighborhoods that may otherwise not have access,” Crouch said. “The Vegetabus is our second CreatINg Places project with Growing Places Indy. Our housing agency and I are excited for this continued partnership with a great organization that remains dedicated to the people it serves.”
Funds from this campaign will cover the costs of converting a Type A school bus into a mobile market that will store an abundance of fresh produce. The bus renovations will include implementing refrigeration, shelving, electrical upgrades, painting, and more. Vegetabus will help bridge the food gap between communities and create an overall healthier environment.
“The Vegetabus is a great way for us to go out and directly engage with community members in their neighborhoods,” said Victoria Beaty, Executive Director of Growing Places Indy. “The mission of Growing Places Indy is to create a more just and equitable food system, and the Vegetabus helps bring our vision to life by going directly to neighborhoods that are underserved and seeing firsthand the impact we have on those areas.”
The CreatINg Places program began in 2016. Projects have raised more than $5.7 million in public funds and an additional $4.6 million in matching IHCDA funds.
The program is available to projects located in Indiana communities. Non-profit entities (with 501c3 or 501c4 status) and Local Units of Government are eligible to apply.
Eligible projects must have a minimum total development cost of $10,000, where the recipient will receive $5,000 in IHCDA matching funds should it successfully raise $5,000 through Patronicity. IHCDA will provide matching grant funds up to $50,000 per project.