Indiana University Fairbanks School of Public Health, along with the Marion County Public Health Department and Indiana Minority Health Coalition, conducted a health impact assessment (HIA) of a potential full-service grocery store development in the neighborhood locally known as the Meadows, a federally-designated food desert on the northeast side of Indianapolis, Indiana. Access to fresh fruits and vegetables has the potential to impact the economic, social and health-related well-being of the community. The HIA utilized the Nutritional Environmental Measurement Survey (NEMS-S) to measure retail food stores for availability of healthy options, price, and quality in the three zip codes within a one mile radius of the proposed grocery store development (at the corner of E 38th Street and Meadows Drive). Using the NEMS-S found 11 convenience stores and no grocery stores in the area. The HIA also used a neighborhood survey, conducted key informant interviews, and attended a neighborhood association meeting.
Members of the community expressed support for a grocery store development in the Meadows. The assessment concluded that easier access to a grocery store would encourage the consumption of fresh produce. Dietary improvements can help to decrease the risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. It also found that a grocery store would improve the local economy by providing jobs, raising property values, and attracting other businesses.