Community Food Project Profiles in Indiana

This document has descriptions of two of the three Community Food Project grants that have gone to groups in Indiana.

Middle Way House, Bloomington
Grant awarded: $280,000 in 2006 for 3 years

The “Growing a Healthy Community” project is working to increase the financial independence of local food producers, and increase access to locally produced food among low-income communities. Aiming to increase local producers’ income by 30 percent, this CFP-funded project will expand Middle Way’s food operations and integrate them in a larger system, extending the sales season and developing a brand of value- added products. The economic growth generated by these steps, coupled with the expansion of training and employment programs for low-income women and domestic violence victims, and the creation of a commercial kitchen in which participants can learn, experiment, and develop food products, is doubling employment in local food production. To increase use of local, healthy food, this project also expands existing community garden space and staffing, and increases the number of low-income schools with educational gardens and nutrition classes.

Mid-North Food Pantry, Indianapolis
Grant awarded: $6,560 in 2006 for 16-month period

The Mid-North Food Pantry works with other local organizations in an initiative called “The Growing Community” to create a more comprehensive local food system that connects youth development with food production, processing, distribution, consumption and waste management. Expanding on the pantry’s thirty years of direct food relief, The Growing Community has trained a group of youth to work at Dewey’s garden– a former brown patch converted to one of the longest-running community gardens in Indianapolis. The development project has also engaged youth in a community food assessment process to determine the relative food security of the neighborhood, and offers business training that enables them to market the products grown on the urban plots. With more funding, the Mid-North Food Pantry would establish a youth-run CSA (community supported agriculture) subscription system, to provide high quality fresh fruit and vegetables to the local community while expanding the sustainable training opportunities they offer to local youth.