Indianapolis city leaders recently approved the restructuring of local systems to better address food access.
The ordinance creates the new Division of Community Nutrition and Food Policy and establishes a new commission and adjacent coalition to address healthy food needs.
Milele Kennedy was named the first director of the division. She said the aim is to better coordinate existing efforts and engage more community based solutions.
“Not only convene stakeholders around the food system,” Kennedy said, “but work together to make policies around the food system that will impact the 25 year plan.”
Indianapolis’s long term plan addresses existing disparities in the food system.
Kennedy says Black Indianapolis residents are more than 50 percent more likely to be impacted by hunger.
“And that is one statistic that we can work together as a community to address,” Kennedy said. “It will take the entire community to address that.”
The most recent data mapping hunger in Marion County shows the meal gap nearly doubled last year.
The new Indianapolis Community Food Access Coalition will replace the Indy Food Council, working to solve issues including food insecurity, urban agriculture and food economy.
The new agency will also administer existing city grants for food programs. It falls under the Office of Public Health and Safety.