Indy Hunger Network launches new update for Community Compass
Indy Hunger Network released a new version of Community Compass, the food assistance website and mobile app, this month. Community Compass is a digital tool that can be used to locate food resources anywhere in the state of Indiana, such as food pantries, meal sites, SNAP and WIC retailers, WIC clinics, and food-related events. Community Compass is a collaboration between Indy Hunger Network and community partners including the City of Indianapolis and the Indiana Department of Health.
The new version of Community Compass comes with several updates designed to make the app more intuitive and resources easier to find. Some highlights of features include a SNAP and WIC benefits calculator, which allows users to screen themselves and see what benefits might be available, improved navigation, a new share feature, improved event sorting and filtering, and the ability to filter resources by requirements. Additionally, the platform is available in 11 languages statewide.
Tom Lageveen, Community Compass Coordinator at Indy Hunger Network, says that the motivation to implement these updates to the platform was driven by the needs of both food insecure individuals and the navigators who help them find resources.
“It came down to a lot of the feedback we were getting about trying to make Community Compass easier to use, along with our own experience with the app,” Lageveen said. “It is important that using the app is as easy as possible, so that people get the information that they need to make decisions about where to go [for resources].”
“We know that trying to find enough food for your family is extremely stressful,” Alex Sindorf, Food Assistance Programs Manager at IHN, added. “That’s why we’ve designed the new app to be as simple and stress-free as possible. We hope our users will be happily surprised with how easily they can find resources on Community Compass. Food insecurity is an incredibly difficult experience, but Community Compass makes it a little bit easier to put food on the table when you need it.”
Community Compass launched in 2020 as part of Indy Hunger Network’s broader effort to support the more than 700,000 food insecure individuals in the state of Indiana. Originally created for Marion County, the platform expanded statewide in December 2021. Since its creation, the management of the platform has become a vital part of Indy Hunger Network’s programming across the state.
“Our mission is to make sure that people have access to the food that they need,” Lageveen said. “Community Compass plays a big part in that accessibility and getting these resources to whoever needs them. Helping put this information out there in an easily digestible way and trying to get it into the hands of as many people that need it as possible is important to our work.”
The new version of Community Compass is available for free to everyone in the state of Indiana. Users can download the mobile app on the App Store or Google Play, or they can use an internet browser to visit www.communitycompass.app. The more than 80,000 existing users will notice changes automatically without the need to download the app again, as long as their settings enable automatic updates for apps. For more information about Community Compass, visit our project page.