There are many 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. Many communities of color and low-income communities have low access to grocery stores. To address this inequity and resulting health disparities, DNPA pursues a variety of initiatives to improve food systems within Hoosier communities and around the state.
Connecting to Resources
The DNPA has worked closely with the City of Indianapolis, and Indy Hunger Network to create Community Compass, an interactive smartphone app and website designed to connect individuals with food resources in their area. The app is available on all smartphones by searching for “Community Compass” in the respective store and covers the entire state! Contact the DNPA SNAP-Ed and Nutrition Programs Director, Naima Gardner-Rice, for more information.
Additional Connections to Resources
- Community Compass – Interactive online tool to help locate free meals, free groceries, WIC retailers and clinics, SNAP retailers, and more. You can also download the app on all smartphones.
- Indiana 211 – 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.
Increasing Access to Farmers Markets
Why Are Farmers Markets Important? (From Farmers Market Coalition)
- Increase access to fresh nutritious food
- Preserve rural livelihoods and farmland
- Stimulate local economies
- Support healthy communities
- Promote sustainability
In Indiana, the Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity is working to increase access to local farmers markets for diverse populations. We provide technical assistance to farmers markets that would like to accept SNAP, and we work with community organizations on outreach strategies to connect individuals to their local markets.
If your market would like to accept SNAP, please visit the Community Food Systems page for more information and resources.
- General information for farmers markets
- SNAP Guide for farmers markets
- Farmers Market Coalition free SNAP EBT Equipment Program
- Fresh Bucks Indy
- The Anti-Racist Farmers Market Toolkit
Our division provides oversight for the SNAP-Ed program in Indiana. The DNPA SNAP-Ed and Nutrition Programs Director 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 visit the SNAP-Ed page or contact our SNAP-Ed Coordinators.
Find a nutrition education class near you!
Community Food Systems
Robust, interconnected community food systems are critical to equitable food access. A community food system is a complex web of activities involving the production, processing, transport, and consumption of food (University of Oxford). Issues concerning the food system include the governance and economics of food production, its sustainability, the degree to which we waste food, how food production affects the natural environment and the impact of food on individual and population health. To find out what the DNPA is doing to strengthen local and statewide food systems, visit our Community Food Systems page.
Naima Gardner-Rice, SNAP-Ed and Nutrition Programs Director
Contact for all DNPA Nutrition Initiatives
Contact for SNAP-Ed
Contact for SNAP-Ed
Megan Paskey, Community Food Systems
Contact for Farmers Markets and Community Food Systems