HCI Spencer County

Posted by IndianaHCI on July 11, 2017, in Spencer.

The Spencer County HCI group is preparing their Capstone Application for rebuilding their local food system. The group had some good discussions during the meeting on Tuesday June 20, 2017, and distributed project ideas to the Coordinating Team to hone in on the project foundation. As the group reviews the HCI process and applies their knowledge of Community Building Blocks, Placemaking and Local Food, they will tie everything together for the great benefit of their County. This team has worked long and hard attending meetings, working on information and connections outside of meetings and fostering good, passionate discussion about their communities and local food systems.

Some of their food system data was surprising to all of us and here is a summary:
Spencer County’s 21,000 residents (8,000 households) spend more than $55 million per year buying food, yet the county’s farmers selling directly to consumers earned less than $231,000 in 2012. 6% of the county’s 597 farms sell directly to consumers and 11 farms sold products directly to local food businesses.

If each household in Spencer County had greater access to locally grown food, and learned more about the farm and food businesses in their area, including agritourism destinations, this HCI Team feels they could increase that share of food dollars for local food farms and businesses.

In fact, if each household shifted just 5% of their food spending to locally sourced food, farmers in the county would increase sales by 1100%! The challenge ahead of this team is how to get this done. HCI is an amazing way to launch these collaborative ideas, teams and creative ideas to relocalize the food economy.