What Indianapolis Needs to Better Fight Food Insecurity

with Matthew Feltrop, Executive Director at The Patachou Foundation

Indiana Health

Indianapolis has been ranked the worst city in the nation for access to fresh food. The Patachou Foundation is aware of that fact and is “working hard to change this by providing real food and hands-on education to kids living in these areas.” Offering a hands-on approach to fight food insecurity. The foundation send out educated representatives into the community; into school cafeterias and into classrooms. The kids are exposed to nutritional demonstrations and given a wholesome meal, similar to what you eat at the cafe or other Patachou-owned restaurants, like Napolese. Click here for more on The Patachou Foundation.

Interview recorded on August 23, 2017. Hosted by Taylor Bennett. Part 1 of 1.

Read a partial transcript of the interview here:

Bennett: We’ve highlighted some organizations that are fighting against hunger, is it making a difference so far?

Feltrop: Absolutely. Those statistics show that, across the nation, food insecurity and access to food is on the minds of policy makers.

Bennett: What is the issue in Indiana?

Feltrop: Well specifically in Central Indiana you have a combination of issues. The reality is that hunger includes access to food. Indianapolis has a huge problem with the layout of the neighborhoods and just the economics of running grocery retail makes it difficult to place, locally, accessible, fresh food options in neighborhoods.

Bennett: Does it also mean healthy food?

Feltrop: Fresh options are more healthy. Statistics do show that when there is a close proximity to a grocery store, the health outcomes of the community members tend to get better.

Bennett: What would you like to see as far as making this problem go away? What would be the ideal?

Feltrop: The reason why we are still grappling with this is that there are so many facets to the issue.  It’s an economic issue; poverty has continued to worsen. The polarizing economy really makes it difficult for families to get out of the cycle of poverty. When you include the health piece high food insecurity lead to negative health outcomes among youth. Indianapolis is ranked poorly when it comes to health in youth. Issues like diabetes and obesity are linked to food insecurity. Then there is a social piece about access to food; it’s a neighborhood problem. Policy makers need to get fresh, healthy foods to neighborhoods based on their individual needs.

Bennett: A lot of components.

Feltrop: What we do at The Patachou Foundation is specifically address childhood hunger and their access to fresh foods. We work with local schools  and deliver healthy meals to students facing food insecurity and poverty.