SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Going to the grocery store to pick up fresh, healthy foods may sound simple enough, but that’s not the case for everyone.

A grant program announced by the city of Sioux Falls earlier this year aims to help fill the gaps in food access for families.

The Eat Well, Sioux Falls grant program targets eight sections identified as low-income and low food access areas.

The program is offering one-time monetary awards of up to $400,000 to encourage businesses and organizations to establish a grocery store or implement a program to improve healthy food access.

James Brewer lives downtown, but he used to help his friend Alfonso pick up groceries at the Kiwanis Hy-Vee, which was only a 10-minute walk from Alfonso’s apartment.

“We don’t have transportation other than the bus, so we come over here once a month and get our stock up and go home,” Sioux Falls resident James Brewer said.

After the Kiwanis location closed several months ago, the pair started using the bus to get to the Hy-Vee on Minnesota Avenue, a less convenient option.

The Eat Well, Sioux Falls grant program could help people like these two men.

Sioux Falls public health director Dr. Charles Chima says a couple applications have been received, but the opportunity is still there for others to pitch their plans.

No grant money has been awarded yet.

The program is open to for-profit, non-profit or cooperative entities.

“As long as the funds haven’t been expended, the applications will be open. And we’ll continue to review applications as they come in,” Sioux Falls public health director Dr. Charles Chima said.

Chima says the goal is to provide a sustainable service to residents.

“Access to healthy food, food security as a whole, it’s an important issue in our community. We know there are people who struggle with this issue and have been struggling for a while, so this is one way we’re trying to be part of the solution,” Chima said.

“I hope they get a store around, I really do,” Brewer said.

To apply, click here.