By Jim Sparks
In October 2007, I was appointed as Indiana’s first Geographic Information Officer with a statutory mission to facilitate the development, maintenance, and distribution of comprehensive statewide geographic data. State statute also assigns two dozen or so responsibilities to the GIO which fall into five baskets: 1) coordinate GIS effort in Indiana with all levels of government, academia, and the private sector; 2) locate and integrate critical geospatial data around the state; 3) figure out how to create data sets that are needed but do not exist; 4) make sure that the data is widely and conveniently available; and 5) serve as the Geographic Information Officer for state government agencies.
By Sharon Kandris
It’s clear that hunger and food insecurity are growing problems in Central Indiana. We’ve recently partnered with two Central Indiana organizations (Northside Mission Ministry of Second Presbyterian Church and United Way of Central Indiana) to identify the gaps among existing resources as a starting point to developing a solution in Washington Township and Hancock County. Emerging out of a strategic planning process with Northside Mission Ministries, we’ve begun to develop a Community Network Model that utilizes collective impact to mitigate hunger.
In both communities,we identified that those in need of food often have many other needs: transportation, housing, employment, medical help, better nutrition, and fresh foods, to name a few. And in both initiatives, the organizations involved have resolved to do something to address the root causes of hunger.
By Sharon Kandris
As you’re probably aware from recent news reports, Feeding America recently released its annual Map the Meal Gap report, with statistics on the state of hunger across the nation. According to its report, food insecurity (not always knowing where your next meal will come from) is affecting 1 out of every 6 people in the Indy MSA – that’s more than 266,000 people.
What you may NOT know is that more than one-third (35%) of those 266,000 food insecure are not eligible for federal food assistance such as SNAP – the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; WIC – the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infant, and Children; and free and reduced school breakfast and lunch.