Board Member Spotlight – Adrienne Shields, FSSA
For our February board spotlight, we spoke to Adrienne Shields, Director of the Division of Family Resources (DFR) for the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA).
Director Shields has been working at FSSA for 16 years. She started with the Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services (DDRS), where she supported individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities as the Director of Client Services. Director Shields has served in the capacity as the Director for the Division of Family Resources for the past 10 years. The DFR is responsible for establishing eligibility for Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits. In 2022, Shields joined the Indy Hunger Network board as a representative from FSSA.
“I believed it would be a great fit,” Shields said of joining the board. “Nutrition is one of the primary programs that is supported by the DFR. The board gives me a great opportunity to brainstorm and think about the big picture and hear from key stakeholders in the state.”
Shields praised Indy Hunger Network as a great outlet for her to work with other organizations in the greater Indianapolis area that bring different information on how to support the over 600,000 Hoosiers using the SNAP Program.
“The benefit of Indy Hunger Network is the vast number of partners that it has and supports,” Shields said. “Being able to collaborate with those members and think big picture: what are we missing? What are they seeing at the forefront as the frontline staff and the agencies and food pantries? What are we missing at the state that we need to consider or think about and what policies should we consider changing? It’s the dynamic partnership at the State and local level coming together to benefit the most vulnerable individuals in the state, [with Indy Hunger Network], that partnership is there.”
Director Shields serves on the boards’ Communication Committee, where one of her primary responsibilities is communicating federal and State SNAP related changes that impact Indiana Hoosiers.
“I believe communication is the key. How do we communicate changes and new information? Being a part of the board allows me to keep the DFR external communication plan in the forefront so everyone is fully informed of our policies, procedures, and legislation impacting our most vulnerable population.”