Indiana is an agricultural state with the value of agricultural products sold in excess of $11 billion. Then, why do we still have hungry people in our backyard? Like many Rust Belt regions of the country, East Central Indiana (ECI) experienced a slower recovery from the 2008 economic downturn. Once a reliable choice, careers in car and industrial manufacturing have been severely limited. ECI counties show some of Indiana’s highest poverty and unemployment levels. As well, nearly 17% of ECI residents and 25% of children are food insecure. How can we help local farmers expand their share in the food market AND help feed hungry people in our communities? These issues are complex and multi-faceted. In this project, students explored the issues surrounding food insecurity and methods of developing sustainable food systems in Muncie and East Central Indiana. We explored ways to best serve our community and empower a resilient and sustainable food-based economic engine that has the capacity to provide fresh, healthy foods to its residents.
Faculty Mentor: Josh Gruver
Department: Natural Resources and Environmental Management
Community Partner: Muncie Food Hub Partnership, Edible Muncie, Urban Garden Coalition, Ball State Student Farm
Students: Kaitlin Carroll, Libonique Chandler, Kristina Chier, Praphulla Devanapally, Abby Fischer, Dylan Ford, Maryssa Gosnell, Rachael Hanley, Paige Jones, Mitch Kaverman, Kami Kleefisch, Kate Koenig, Tyler Mulhall, Garrett Mullins, Hunter Phillips, Preeti Samra, Caroline Tegeler, Taylor Wilson, Nora Zaher