Current Projects

Fresh Bucks is a Supplemental Nutrition Access Program (SNAP)-incentive program that doubles SNAP dollars, formerly known as food stamps, to be spent on fruits and vegetables, up to $20 a day.  It operates at several farmers’ markets around the Indianapolis area and continues to expand into new locations. Visit their website for more information and to find a Fresh Bucks market near you!

Summer Servings is the name of the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program in Indianapolis. Administered by the Indiana Department of Education, it provides meals and snacks to anyone age 18 and under during the months that school is not in session. Indy Hunger Network supports this program by providing outreach and marketing while also researching best practices from around the country. Visit their website for more information or to find a serving site near you!

Nutrition and Cooking Education pilot's goal is to systematically increase cooking education opportunities for low-income adults and their families by covering a variety of skills including cooking methods, MyPlate recommendations, label reading, and food budgeting. 

Unmet Need Study: The results of this cross-sectional, telephone-based survey of 856 Marion County adults, commissioned by the Indy Hunger Network in 2014 and conducted by Rutgers University found that 196,000 people, or 21% of Marion County residents, need some degree of food assistance. Previous studies have measured food insecurity, but this is the first direct measurement of the number of meals missed. Collaboration among both non-profit and for-profit organizations in Indianapolis has created a food assistance “safety net” that is helping nearly 75% of food insecure households. However, it is still not enough. As the survey results indicate, ongoing and increased support is needed to sustain the current food assistance system and address the gaps.

WIC Marketing Study: This research marketing study was commissioned by Indy Hunger Network and Marion County WIC to determine current levels of awareness, understanding, and perceptions among eligible households in Marion County of the WIC program. It found that 92% of WIC participants were satisfied with the services, 89% thought WIC had a positive effect on quality of life, and 97% were likely to recommend to friends or family. However, although 100% of those surveyed were eligible for WIC, only 34% were currently accessing the program, with an additional 51% having used the program in the past. The most common reason for not utilizing the program was the perception of not needing the service or that they do not qualify.  Phase two of this project is to use the insights gained during the study to build strategies for increasing enrollment.