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Lake County group gets $226K to address food deserts

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MERRILLVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A northwestern Indiana philanthropic foundation has won a more than $226,000 federal grant to address food deserts in Gary and East Chicago, in part by expanding access to locally-grown produce.

The Merrillville-based Legacy Foundation will use the funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to add food markets and mobile markets by next summer in the two Lake County cities.

The grant is also aimed at expanding or creating new farmers markets in both cities and boosting the number of those markets eligible to accept payments through the federal food stamp program.

The USDA says Lake County has 24 food deserts and 14 of them are in Gary. Many residents there live more than a mile from a supermarket or grocery store and lack transportation to reach them.

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