Beyond Barriers – Food As Medicine

Beyond Barriers – Food As Medicine


Food is medicine. The ability to afford and obtain nutritious food impacts physical and mental wellbeing like nothing else.

The inability to obtain nutritious food contributes to the majority of chronic health conditions, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. It also impacts a person’s mental wellbeing for children and adults alike. Overcoming this hurdle is truly a moment-to-moment struggle. Keeping patients from the emergency department requires keeping nutritious food in their homes and lives.

In Indianapolis, 41% of children under the age of five suffer from malnutrition. Philanthropic dollars will strengthen screening to identify individuals in need, grow distribution capabilities with community partners and encourage hands-on educational programs that provide food and information on healthy eating.

The success of the Beyond Barriers campaign will result in improved access to nutritious foods for those who need it most urgently and a sustainable, evidence-based action to improve healthful alternatives, developed with community partners.


At Eskenazi Health we believe that food is medicine and nutrition is a chief component to comprehensive health care. That is why we are committed to bringing nutritious practices to all communities in Indianapolis. 

One of the ways Eskenazi Health brings nutritious practices to our communities in Indianapolis is through our Fresh for You Market at the Frank & Katrina Basile Pavilion. The Fresh for You Market, in partnership with Gleaners Food Bank, serves as a self-sustaining grocery and pantry hybrid that addresses food insecurity by offering community members access to grocery items, fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy snacks and pantry staples. Access to these nutritious foods allow our neighbors, friends and family to succeed in other areas of their lives, such as school and work, and it vastly improves economic stability. Additionally, the market helps local chefs and restaurants advertise their businesses through collaboration on rotating menus. 

In its first full year of operation, the Fresh for You Market was able to feed 6,200 people from our most vulnerable and underserved communities. 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 Indianapolis and to continue bringing nutritious food to all of our community members. 

The most exciting news: change has begun. Eskenazi Health’s vision for a healthier community is within reach. 

Eighty percent of our health is shaped by Social Determinants of Health. Thinking another way,  traditionally delivered medical care contributes only 20% to reducing premature death. To radically transform outcomes, Eskenazi Health must integrate medical care with social care. The Beyond Barriers Campaign represents a deliberate decision to focus philanthropy at the point of greatest opportunity.



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