Butler Journal of Undergraduate Research

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Terri Jett


According to the USDA’s “Food Security Status of U.S. Households” in 2014, 48.1 million people live in food insecure households. In Indiana, more than 1 million people suffer from food insecurity with rates as high as 19.2% of Marion County’s population according to the Map the Meal Gap 2014 report. The Community Controlled Food Initiative (CCFI) is a local food cooperative operated by the Kheprw Institute and neighborhood residents in the Mid-North Indianapolis Community. The cooperative formed to address food insecurity in August 2015 in response to the closing on the local Double 8 Foods grocery stores. CCFI hosts a monthly food share distribution where residents buy into the program and receive a share of locally sourced fruits and vegetables. The cooperative model is a long tradition of people coming together to address a need in their community or society through a communal business structure. The community lived with food insecurity long before the closing of the grocery stores and decided to take action. This research is a case study using participatory observation testing CCFI’s cooperative model to Jessica Nemhard’s research in Collective Courage: An African American Cooperative History and through the three pillars of impact: addressing food insecurity, community and economic development, and climate change. CCFI’s work shows that food is not only a necessity for life, but also a catalyst for social change.

TB-Fig.1.docx (212 kB)
USDA Food Access Research Atlas, portion of map with low income and low access of at ½ and 10 miles layer of Indianapolis.

TB-Fig2.docx (25 kB)
This chart shows the number of shares purchased by consumers and distributed by CCFI during their monthly food distribution.

TB-Fig.3.docx (25 kB)
CCFI Food Distribution Weight (lbs). This chart shows the pounds of food CCFI distributed in the community by pounds from June to February.