There are communities throughout the state that lack access to healthy, affordable food. Communities that have no or distant grocery stores, or have an imbalance of healthy food options, will likely have increased premature death and chronic health conditions. Low-access areas are most commonly found in communities of color and low-income communities. To address this inequity and the health disparities that are created as a result, DNPA pursues a variety of initiatives to improve nutrition environments within Hoosier communities.
Our division provides oversight for the SNAP-Ed program in Indiana. The DNPA Nutrition Coordinator and SNAP-Ed Coordinators work closely with Purdue Extension to implement policy, systems and environmental (PSE) strategies to increase food access in SNAP-eligible communities. Every county in Indiana is served by Purdue Extension’s Community Wellness Coordinators (CWCs), who coordinate a variety of projects and initiatives to pursue PSE change around nutrition and physical activity. For more information about these initiatives, contact our SNAP-Ed Coordinators.
DNPA works with community stakeholders across the state to increase access to farmers’ markets, particularly for limited resource audiences. To that end, we work with market managers to increase the number of farmers’ markets statewide that accept SNAP benefits.
Connecting to Resources
Our Nutrition Coordinator has worked closely with the City of Indianapolis, Connect2Help211, Indy Hunger Network and Level Up to create Food Compass, an interactive smartphone app designed to connect individuals with emergency food resources in their area. The app will be available soon, and we will link it here. Although the app currently covers only Marion County, DNPA is pursuing funding to expand the coverage statewide and build in additional features and capabilities. Contact the DNPA Nutrition Coordinator for more information.
Food Access Resources
- Connect to Help 211 – Facilitates connections between people who need human services and those who provide them.
- Indiana 211 Partnership – 2-1-1 is a free and confidential service that helps Hoosiers across Indiana find the local resources they need.
- Indy Hunger Network – The goal of the Indy Hunger Network (IHN) is to create a system that ensures anyone who is hungry can access the nutritious food they need.
Naima Gardner-Rice, SNAP-Ed and Nutrition Programs Director
Contact for Farm to School, SNAP-Ed oversight, Farmers’ Markets, General Nutrition, Food Access