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City launches project to better understand Indianapolis' food system and economy

Residents and stakeholders are all asked to take part in the survey.
Programs helps families living in ‘food deserts’ access healthy food
Posted at 12:54 PM, Jan 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-05 13:00:58-05

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Office of Public Health and Safety has launched a new project that aims to better understand the city's food value chain.

"Food|Comida|Rawl 317: A Vision for Nourishing and Sustaining Our Indianapolis Communities" was created by OPHS as a way to collect data and analyze data from residents, local food businesses, and nonprofit organizations. According to the city, that data will help form future policies and programs for each of the 25 City-County districts in Indianapolis.

The overall intention of Food|Comida|Rawl 317 is to support strategies that strengthen and foster Indy's food economy. With this goal, the city hopes to address food insecurity and access in Marion County as a whole.

“The City is proud to invest in equitable and sustainable solutions to the complex issue of hunger and food access in our community,” Indianapolis Mayor Hogsett said. “As part of that wider effort, this partnership will invite direct resident input and bring food security experts into neighborhoods to gain first-hand knowledge from those most affected. This multi-angle approach combines the best of local and institutional knowledge to identify solutions.”

The name of the program— the word “food” in English, Spanish, and Hakha — underscores the city's effort to be inclusive in its aim to better understand the diversity of Indy's food culture.

“This is the first comprehensive data collection effort of its kind in Marion County. Specifically designed to engage all residents across the city, this community-based survey provides an opportunity for families to weigh in directly on every part of the food system,” Milele Kennedy, OPHS' food policy and program coordinator, said. “This is just one part of our ongoing effort to have meaningful and transparent engagement and data collection at all levels of the Indianapolis food system.”

OPHS wants to hear about the household experience and stakeholders' challenges, successes, and connections with Indy's food system.

The project will extend through 2021 as the Indiana University School of Sustainable Food Systems Science, CollaboCreative, Butler University, and the Kephrw Institute all partner to collect and analyze the submitted information.

Residents, stakeholders, and businesses are all asked to take part in the survey at foodcomidarawl317.com. Language translation and paper copies are available as well.