Erin Drennan– The Indy Food Council started 2014 off in the Normandy Barn at the State Fairgrounds on February 1st.  The kick-off event began with an overview of the 2013 accomplishments which included many speakers.  The Indy Food Fellows program discussed their goals and what they had achieved over the past year as well as their plans for the coming year, followed by the Indy Food Fund.  The Fresh Bucks program was introduced and included the upcoming spring farmer’s markets that will be participating in the new SNAP dollars double-up campaign, already showing success with the Indy Winter Farmer’s Market.

The Indy Food Council then described their 2013 outreach efforts which included five breakout sessions and eight community conversations across the Indianapolis area.  For the breakout sessions, they focused on the food system as a whole and there was an average of 37 participants at each of the five sessions.

The community conversations moved across Indianapolis into eight neighborhoods and were during more accessible hours, they also included food security surveys.  The surveys discovered that there was a higher frequency of worrying about running out of food due to money and actually running out of food and not having money to buy more being associated with heating a healthful meal less frequently.

These community engagement and breakout session were made possible through four work groups focused on individual nodes of the food system, including health, hunger/social justice, economy, and ecology.

During the kick-off event, participants grabbed their lunched and headed into small discussion groups based on the four nodes and went to work on planning more efforts for 2014.  The coming year, the Indy Food Council will be working toward a healthy food resolution, with help from members new and old.  To learn more about becoming a member and making a difference in the Indianapolis food system, download the forms here.


View more pictures, here.