Digging in to Muncie’s Local Food System

Spring 2018: Roughly 64 percent of Muncie residents live in food deserts (defined as living more than a mile from a grocery store) and one in four children do not have access to “enough food to lead a healthy, active lifestyle,” according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Yet Muncie supports a robust and growing network of nonprofits and neighborhoods dedicated to strengthening the local food system through education and outreach. The project started in fall 2017, when an interdisciplinary team of Ball State students sparked conversation with producers, gardeners, and nonprofit leaders to inspire a storytelling movement to reflect obstacles and opportunities in East Central Indiana. This community-focused journalism has taken the form of profiles, info graphics, photos, and videos that inspire empathy, understanding and action. The website, harvestinghopemuncie.com, captures that storytelling alongside resource guides that detail pantries, farmers markets, farms and festivals in the region. A digital cookbook encourages Muncie residents to share cherished traditions and recipes, and children’s voices join in through drawings that depict favorite foods and meals.

Fall 2017: The students in this project produced compelling journalism that captured the stories and issues related to Muncie’s foodsystem. Through a variety of formats and platforms, they shared stories about the people and partnerships working to feed Muncie and explored the circumstances that influence food insecurity and regulation.

Spring 2018

Faculty Mentor: Kate Elliott
Department: Journalism
Community Partners: Farmished, Second Harvest East Central Indiana
Students: Justice Amick, Ana Batres, Demarcus Brookins, Patrick Calvert, Rachel Ellis, Carlee Ellison, Kendall Genier, Jonathan Isbill, Maureen Langley, Tessa Lebo, Anastasia Merkel, Jamie Moynihan, Sam Oyler, Katie Porter, Kelli Reutman, Melody Smith, Kaiti Sullivan, Megan Troyer, Angelica Watts

Fall 2017

Faculty Mentor: Kate Elliott
Department: Journalism
Community Partners: Farmished
Students: William Aiken, Evan Brosman, Ian Buchanan, Ashley Cheesman, Emily Cox, Hunter Garrison, Leslie Gartrell, Brady Hanley, Valerie Jones, David Koenn, Brooke Kratzer, Garrett Looker, Kaylie McKee, Emily Sabens, Sabrina Schnetzer, Mariah Thatch

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