Indy Hunger Network began as the recession hit in 2009. The CEO of Second Helpings contacted the Mayor’s office, and they called together local leaders in hunger relief who began to meet regularly and learn about the food assistance system. Their initial objective was to meet the needs of our neighbors through the collaboration of organizations that serve our community.
There are hundreds of independent local organizations providing food assistance in Indianapolis. A study of the flow of food from these organizations to the community identified a number of opportunities to improve upon this large and complex web of hunger relief
By the end of 2010, potential projects were prioritized, project charters were developed, and an initial set of projects were underway. By 2011, with a clearer picture in hand of the many sources and quantities of food assistance, the importance of maximizing all sources of food became central to Indy Hunger Network’s work.
Indy Hunger Network launched publicly in 2012 with a major grant from the Lilly Corporate Foundation, the hiring of a staff member and the first VISTA volunteers, a loaned executive from Elanco, a media campaign, a community leaders breakfast, and the incorporation of Indy Hunger Network as a 501(c)(3).
Initiatives such as a first-of-its-kind survey of unmet need for food assistance, a strategic review, a briefing to the Congressional Hunger Commission, and the implementation of an Advocacy Committee have occurred in the ensuing years. CEOs of our nonprofit partners have remained actively engaged, cooperation among our partners has increased, community volunteers have deployed their technical skills, and more than a dozen projects have been completed.