The Muncie Food Hub Partnership started with an ambitious, if not daunting, objective: help stop hunger in the Muncie area. A pandemic wasn’t going to get in the way of that effort.

Formed in 2016 as an immersive learning project, the food hub operates as a nonprofit that connects produce from farmers to Muncie residents in food deserts.

One component is the Mobile Farmers Market (MFM), which was developed to help get fresh and healthy local food to Muncie residents. The farmers market purchases produce from area farmers and sells it at affordable prices in low-income and low-food-access areas of the city. As the MFM wraps up its second season, the students gained additional experience in food safety, taking every precaution possible to protect everyone’s health, according to project adviser Josh Gruver, an associate professor and assistant chair in the Department of Environment, Geology, and Natural Resources.

“This year we’re dealing with COVID-19, and it has really been an interesting process, particularly with the teaching process.”

That has meant cleaning cold storage, their trailer, all of their food crates—anything the food touches—all while making sure the students are taking all the necessary safety precautions for themselves.

“There’s a lot to think about in terms of keeping people safe and keeping the food safe,” Gruver said, “but we’re doing everything we can.”

Project Participants

  • Ronald Bell – Dekay Beach, Florida – Graduate Student, Environmental, Geology, and Natural Resources
  • Chloe Mannan – Cloverdale, Indiana – Geography
  • Mason Miller – Fishers, Indiana – Environmental Management
  • Sarah Ogle – Muncie, Indiana – NREM
  • Corbin Pew – Lewisville, Indiana – NREM
  • Mary Rouse – Camby, Indiana – Chemistry, Environmental Management
  • Erick Wilson – Tipton, Indiana – Geology

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