A digital useful resource to assist individuals acquire simpler entry to meals sources is now out there on the internet and in a number of languages.
Group Compass — a digital platform that connects Indianapolis residents with free meals and groceries, plus shops accepting SNAP and WIC advantages close to them — is now out there on-line at www.communitycompass.app. Individuals utilizing the web site can entry data in Arabic, Burmese, Chinese language, French, Haitian Creole, Hakha Chin, Karen, Spanish, Swahili and Yoruba.
The Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Defend Basis offered a $550,000 grant and collaborated with town of Indianapolis and Indy Starvation Community to develop the web site and its expanded translations.
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The web site, which went reside Monday, lists upcoming meals giveaways and meal providers throughout town. Individuals can discover grocery shops, pantries and different sources close to them just by typing of their handle or ZIP code, filtering outcomes based mostly on what days a location is open and what kind of service it supplies.
The useful resource additionally helps individuals decide whether or not they’re eligible for federal meals help by the web chatbot “Shelly.”
Meals insecurity is pervasive throughout town. A 2018 SAVI report discovered about 200,000 Indianapolis residents lived in meals deserts, with low meals entry and residing in low-income areas.
“Realizing the place and entry nutritious meals is vital to addressing meals points in our neighborhood,” Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett mentioned in a Monday information launch. “Nobody ought to lack entry to meals just because they have no idea what is out there to them. This instrument makes it straightforward to attach residents to short- and long-term options to meals insecurity.”
Individuals can proceed accessing Group Compass via the free mobile app, which launched last year. It was downloaded greater than 2,000 instances in March, as meals insecurity in Indianapolis surged through the pandemic, in line with Stage Up Growth, the corporate that developed the app.
The app is just out there in Spanish and English and may be downloaded on the App Retailer and Google Play.
Individuals may ship the phrase “hello” to 317-434-3758 to obtain data through textual content.
As of July 6, 16,429 individuals had utilized Group Compass, mentioned Kate Howe, government director of Indy Starvation Community, a nonprofit group that helps join Indianapolis residents to meals sources and helped develop the app. Practically 90% of individuals used the cellular app, Howe mentioned, and about 10% utilized the texting service.
After the app launched, some customers mentioned they lacked entry to robust sufficient Wi-Fi to obtain Group Compass, Howe mentioned. The mobile-friendly web site permits individuals to nonetheless entry meals useful resource data on their telephones with out having to obtain the app, she mentioned.
Previous to the rolling out of the app, individuals needed to name town’s Connect4Help 211 service and clarify why they want meals help. Group Compass supplies customers anonymity and comfort to encourage individuals to hunt the assistance they want, Howe previously told IndyStar.
Come August, the Group Compass platform is ready to increase to the counties surrounding Marion County, and in December, builders hope to disseminate data statewide, Howe mentioned. Additionally in December, Howe mentioned the app will embrace vitality and housing help data along with meals sources.
Contact IndyStar Pulliam Fellow Clare Proctor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Observe her on Twitter: @ceproctor23.