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.
In this third community baseline report, you will see the results of such major achievements as the Mapping Transitions to College project, which was critical to the ability of Indianapolis/Marion County Schools to track their students’ postsecondary enrollment trends, develop strategies to improve, and measure progress over time. The study was supported by the Central Indiana Community Foundation, in collaboration with the Office of Information Management and Institutional Research at IUPUI and the National Student Clearinghouse High School StudentTrackerSM program.