ABOUT THE EQUITABLE FOOD ACCESS INITIATIVE
Food security is the most commonly reported unmet social need in the United States – with nearly 40% of households reporting moderate to high levels of food insecurity. Its impact is felt in every community across the country; however, the crisis is far worse in certain communities, with significant disparity, experienced just miles apart. In central Indiana alone, Marion County experiences childhood food insecurity at nine percent higher rates than neighboring Hamilton County. This disparity, fueled by access to nutritious food and underpinned by race, ethnic, and economic differences, lead to significant disparities in health outcomes and underline why a broad and systemic approach to solving food access and security is required.
In 2021, LISC Indianapolis, with the support of Anthem Foundation, and the City of Indianapolis launched the Equitable Food Access Initiative (EFAI). Through this partnership, LISC has driven collaboration between place-based and citywide stakeholders to increase healthy food access by addressing the upstream contributors to food insecurity. Eight communities self-selected engagement with the EFAI by responding to LISC’s EFAI RFP. These same communities, who are designated food deserts, are committed to tackling the built, economic, and social environments that contribute to resident food insecurity. They meet monthly under a community agreement as the EFAI Food Justice Collaboration convened by LISC.
The initiative is grounded with the following commitments:
We will implement the initiative as a collective impact with a common agenda, shared measurement system, continuous communication, shared responsibility, and coordinated by LISC as the backbone organization
We will be intentional with the initiative to compliment other citywide initiatives involving food such as SNAP/WIC, REACH, DIP-IN, FoodComidaRawl317, and Food Secure Indy
We will elevate equity as priority in planning, practice, policy, and power throughout the initiative
We will approach each community with an asset-based mindset, believing that every community has strengths and resources to be leveraged to address community barriers to thriving
We will partner with community, being responsive, agile, and supportive of community-based partnerships
We will commit to build the capacity of the residents, organizations, and systems through this initiative in order to build more resilient communities and a sustainable food system locally
We will continue to raise funds to support all EFAI applicant communities which are the core of the Indianapolis food system
Eight Indianapolis communities submitted collaborative applications for review by an advisory committee facilitated by LISC in partnership with Anthem Foundation and the Indianapolis Division of Community Nutrition and Food Policy. In June 2021, LISC Indianapolis and Anthem Foundation announced that the Northeast Corridor in Indianapolis was selected to be the focal point of the three-year, $2.45 million initiative to improve nutritious food access and help build a more equitable food system.
A community-based planning and implementation process began in this community that convenes residents, community leaders, subject matter experts and civic organizations to develop a vision of equitable food access, coupled with strategies for physical developments, programmatic partnerships and investment to achieve that vision. The neighborhood is using a collaborative approach to determine which food projects will be supported, launched or expanded. Emphasis is being placed on ensuring all projects improve food access and economic mobility for the area, are community-led, and help build racial equity.
Market Analysis Report 2022
The goal of this report is to present demographic and market data that summarizes social, economic, environmental, and health indicators pertinent to the Equitable Food Access Initiative (EFAI) in the northeast corridor (NEC) area of Indianapolis.
Video announcement of community selection - June 29, 2021
The Indianapolis Community Food Access Advisory Commission or IndyFAC, provides oversight and guidance to the Indianapolis Community Food Access Coalition. This is the first addition to the webpage, that gives the opportunity for ICFAC members and Indy residents to know our governing leadership.
The commission are comprised of 13 members ranging from city agency officials, mayoral and community appointees, Marion County organizations involved in food access, as well as local farmers or food entrepreneurs. To learn more about the commission, click on the link below!