Indianapolis veteran offers free holiday meals to community

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - A local veteran says she wants to give back to the community with a free holiday meal.

Erica Bryant says there's no price and no catch for customers who visit The Healthy Food Cafe all day on December 22.

Bryant decided to open the south side restaurant after serving nine years in the U.S. Navy. "I love food and I love to travel and just get inspired by different dishes all over the world, but basically I wanted to make food organic and healthy."

From stir fry bowls, to smoothies, and even fish tacos, everything is made from scratch, and it's all organic.

"So people can enjoy it because there's a stereotype that all you have to do is eat diet food like kale and tofu or no fat type of deal,” Bryant said.

She says she wanted to use the holiday as a way to connect with the community through food. "It can be like a sad time too, but just to come in and fellowship with us, have a good time, talk a little bit about nutrition if they want," Bryant said.

She says that's why everything will be free on Friday.

“A lot of people wouldn't come in here just because of the word healthy, so this is just to kind of let them know we have organic turkeys and like the traditional Christmas meal,” Bryant said.

Erica was inspired to take this path after losing her grandmother. Recent stats show Indiana is the tenth fattest state in the nation, so this was also a push to get Hoosiers healthy, even if it means losing a days worth of business.

"I think I'm called just to try to serve. You know and so if it is our country or our community just regardless, I'm just trying to serve and make people happy and healthy."

Friday's meal will also include vegan and gluten free options. The deal is open to everyone. Doors open at 10 a.m. The restaurant is located at 8028 Emerson Ave.