STUDIES & REPORTS

Hunger Free Communities

Indy Hunger Network is one of seventy organizations nationwide that are part of the Hunger-Free Communities Network. Communities around the country are sharing best practices to speed their progress toward being hunger-free. Read their recent report for more information on what constitutes a hunger-free community.

SNAP Awareness and Perceptions Study

This market research study was commissioned by Indy Hunger Network to determine current levels of awareness, understanding, and perceptions among eligible households in Marion County of the SNAP program. It found positive impressions of SNAP and identified opportunities to build strategies for increasing enrollment.

Unmet Need Studies of 2014 and 2017

From 2010 to 2013, the meal supply in Marion County had grown by 30 million meals per year. IHN’s goal had been to assure there was enough food for all, but no suitable metric for the remaining meal gap could be found. So in 2014, with help from IUPUI and USDA, a first-of-its kind survey of unmet need for food assistance was designed and executed. The study found that 21% of Marion County residents needed food assistance and estimated the unmet need for food at 9 million meals a year. This study became the basis for choosing the next round of improvement project.  Since then, collaboration among nonprofit and for-profit organizations in Indianapolis has created a food assistance “safety net” that is helping nearly all food insecure households. Download the summary of the 2014 report. A follow-up survey completed in February 2017  indicated that there hasn’t been a significant change in the percentage of people needing food assistance or those with unmet need. There was a drop in the number of meals missed by people with unmet need, and the overall gap in the number of meals needed to provide enough food for all dropped to 5 million. Download the summary of the 2017 report. Download the full 2014 report Download the full 2017 report

WIC Awareness and Perceptions Study

This market research 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.