Butler University’s Center for Urban Ecology is participating in the Indy Food Fund, an initiative that is offering grants ranging from $500 to $10,000 and loans ranging from $25,000 to $2 million to nonprofits and businesses involved in healthy food-related projects in Indianapolis.
Projects can include, but are not limited to, community gardens with market stands, value chain projects such as homemade salsa made locally with Indiana-grown ingredients, nutrition programs, food hubs, farmers’ markets, farm-to-institutions projects, urban farms, healthy corner store initiatives, and marketing and consumer cooperatives.
“We are excited to be part of this collaborative effort to improve our community’s access to food, their overall health, the local environment and the Indianapolis economy,” said Tim Carter, director of the Center for Urban Ecology (CUE). “The partnerships developed through the Indy Food Fund will be truly innovative and the projects that it supports will create models for other community projects in the future.”
Nic Mink, the CUE’s sustainable urban food system fellow, is also actively involved in the development and administration of the fund.
The Indy Food Fund is a collaborative effort of the Marion County Public Health Department, Butler University’s Center for Urban Ecology, Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County, City of Indianapolis—Office of Sustainability, IUPUI, Growing Places Indy, the Indy Hunger Network, Indy Grown, the Efroymson Family Fund, and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC).
The food fund is a critical component in the development of an Indianapolis food system that improves access to healthy foods and nutrition, enhances the city’s environment, and alleviates food-based inequality. This type of system will improve the quality of life for all Indianapolis residents by increasing food access, decreasing obesity rates, and improving economic growth.
Bill Taft, executive director of LISC, described the Indy Food Fund as “part of LISC’s overall goal to make our neighborhoods great places to live, work, play and raise a family.”
Applicants for the grants and loans must demonstrate that their project impacts health, ecology, social justice, community development, and/or economic development of Indianapolis neighborhoods. Applications may be found at www.lisc.org/indianapolis.
Submissions are due electronically by Dec. 14, 2012, to firstname.lastname@example.org. An advisory committee consisting of diverse representatives from the Indianapolis food system will review applications and make a recommendation for final approval by Jan. 15, 2013.