Butler University’s student-run farm helping solve food insecurity in Indianapolis

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– A national survey found 1 in 6 Indianapolis residents lack access to nutritious food, a problem Butler University students want to solve through their off-campus farm. 

Many local organizations are working to solve this issue and Butler University is one of the largest. 

“We believe any discipline can be taught through the lens of food and farming,” said Julia Angstmann, Director of the Center for Urban Ecology and Sustainability (CUES) at Butler University.

CUES is working with more than 20 community partners to help solve the city’s nutrition problems.  

“We’re actively trying to send students out into the community to learn from all of this extensive expertise that’s being built around urban farming and urban gardening in Indianapolis,” Angstmann said.

Angstmann says the solutions start at ‘The Farm at Butler.’ 

The one-acre space is a source of food for the community and campus. 

“It grows about 200 different types of fruits, nuts and vegetables,” Angstmann said.

Butler’s dining services then buys the produce to feed the campus community. 

“When we’re in the dining hall, we can see it came from the farm which is really cool,” said Margaret Fornes, a junior at Butler University.

The farm offers educational opportunities for students and local farmers, as well as a site for community partners.  

“I think it’s a good way to teach people about food insecurity because it teaches people about good farming practices,” Fornes said.

“It’s good inspiration for people to see,” said senior Christine Slover.

Slover says the farm serves as a model for communities on how to create sustainable food sources.  

“Seeing this is less than an acre and it’s pretty manageable,” Slover said. “If you break it up, you could supply a lot of food for families.”

CUES hopes to empower students and the community to find new solutions in the fight against hunger.  

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