Butler University has been awarded a $150,000 grant from the Efroymson Family Fund, a fund of Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF), to coordinate the University’s and community’s efforts in urban agriculture.
Tim Carter, director of Butler’s Center for Urban Ecology, said the three-year grant will be used to hire a post-graduate fellow to work with faculty and staff as well as community partners in Indianapolis’ food system “to connect urban ecology to urban agriculture, urban agriculture to Indianapolis neighborhoods, and Indianapolis neighborhoods to the broader foodsheds – meaning where all our food comes from.”
Carter said this position will be involved with projects such as mapping and modeling potential agricultural sites in the city and developing land-use scenarios to turn those into places for urban agriculture. Some areas could be used to grow food for the hungry, while others might be created to provide jobs in low-income neighborhoods, while others may be optimal for urban market farmers.
The fellow also will include coordinating the efforts of those involved in urban agriculture to help them work together efficiently and that their efforts are communicated to the public.
Carter said this position will also help to establish an Indianapolis Food Council that would help coordinate, advocate and leverage resources to improve the food system in Indianapolis.
Dan and Lori Efroymson established The Efroymson Family Fund in 1998 to promote the viability of Indianapolis by supporting the welfare of the disadvantaged, natural environment, historic preservation and the well-being of the Jewish people. At the time, the fund was one of the first donor-advised funds accepted by CICF.The fund continues a legacy of charitable commitment by the Efroymson family in central Indiana. Since Dan’s death in 1999, Lori Efroymson-Aguilera and their two children, Jeremy and Elissa, continue the family’s philanthropic legacy by providing financial support to charitable organizations throughout Indianapolis, the state of Indiana and across the United States. CICF facilitates family meetings and manages the family’s grantmaking process, meeting with hundreds of grant seekers annually, reviewing applications and making recommendations to the family.The fund has awarded more than $70 million to date to not-for-profit organizations in central Indiana and beyond.