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(INDIANAPOLIS) – More locally produced food and more places to buy it are among the recommendations of a report on food and hunger in Indianapolis.

The Indy Food Council study calls for an agricultural land bank and more vegetable gardens, in greenspace on vacant lots, on school property and in parks. Emily Toner with Purdue Extension argues even an urban community benefits from growing more of its food locally. She says shortening the chain from farm to table builds community relationships and boosts the economy.

The report also endorses proposals to address so-called “food deserts” with grants or loans, marketing help and technical assistance to grocery stores to locate in areas which don’t have any. The study says about one in four Marion County residents lives more than a mile from the nearest supermarket. Legislators have considered similar proposals the last several years.

The food council says 90{88985e72cdc23cc640478df67fb322de3b1b52d56709d5df1fff12157a74fef6} of Indiana’s food comes from out of state, and 98{88985e72cdc23cc640478df67fb322de3b1b52d56709d5df1fff12157a74fef6} of the fruits and vegetables. 

(Photo: Eric Berman/WIBC)