Community Input

Community Responses to the Indy Food Charter

In response to the Indianapolis Food Charter, the community provided inputs and responses as to their community priorities in action. Numbers on these responses correspond to the ten points of the Indy Food Charter.

1. Real food security for all citizens requires good information and practical skills. Food is more than a commodity. It is a basic right. Many of the skills required for good food and nutrition practices in our urban settings have not been passed down from previous generations, thus leaving our citizens vulnerable to food shortages.

2. As the largest and most visible consumers these organizations should set an example of economic responsibility to local businesses and the health of the citizenry of Central Indiana.

3. Realizing this goal will require: appropriate nutrition for expectant mothers; community and inter-generational cooking education programs; public schools partnerships that improve food quality, promote school gardens and encourage local food procurement (Farm to School); and awareness of personal water consumption.

4. Senior health and independence in the community partially depends on access to sufficient nutritious food. Programs focused on senior dietary needs improve quality of life for seniors and reduce community costs.

5. As a community, we place value on food security components which include (but aren’t limited to) decreasing presence of food deserts, increasing availability of local produce, maintaining arable land, protecting pollinators, managing bio-waste, supporting small farmers, championing clean water, and promoting biodiversity.

6. Both urban and rural economies can be supported by cooperative ventures between food producers, food distribution, direct marketing and retail operations. Frequently the capacity to grow, process and store food until needed is greater in an agricultural area; however, in Indianapolis this is not yet the case. Thus, the Central Indiana food economy is ripe for  opportunity and growth.

7. Potential programs could encompass the redirecting of bio-waste to local composting facilities, used cooking oil to local bio-diesel plants, curbside composting, and the use of rain barrels, rain gardens, composting toilets and grey water systems.

8. In a convenience driven society, easy access to local food producers through multiple retail outlets such as farmer’s markets, food cooperatives, CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture) and other local food distribution operations creates stronger connections to our food which fosters healthy eating habits. Knowing your farmer is the ultimate food security.

9. Breastfeeding provides reduced instance of disease and the best possible nutrition for infants at almost no cost. Breastfeeding benefits women’s health by lowering the risk of many diseases, such as breast and cervical cancer.

10. Eating is both an agricultural and a cultural act. Encouraging both culturally relevant and local food options need not be mutually exclusive. Local food sourcing emphasizes close ties between urban and rural cultures. Connections made are a source of great benefit to all, and cause for community celebration.