The Block by Block Food Insecurity Challenge is a three-month social competition that is open to social innovators, local non-profits, grass roots community efforts and other organizations that have the ability to sustainably deploy innovative approaches to solving critical barriers to food security in their communities.
GuideWell Innovation is partnering with the Florida Blue Foundation and Synapse to launch the challenge in four Florida regions (Central Florida, North Florida/Panhandle, West Coast Florida and South Florida) with regional prizes totaling $6,000. Three finalists from each region will be invited to the Block by Block forum, which is being held October 16-17, at the GuideWell Innovation Center in Orlando. The 12 selected regional finalists will present their approaches and compete for the grand prize of $20,000.
GuideWell Innovation is looking for innovative solutions related to Food Insecurity that have teams dedicated to long-term success of the venture with a business model that supports growth and a strong desire to take their idea to the next level. Solutions should address one or more of the following key areas:
Food insecure communities rely on the availability of a dependable food supply chain. Solutions in this area focus on efficient production and distribution of food resources to increase availability, affordability, and sustainability of the supply of food to insecure communities.
Often called “food deserts,” food insecure populations reside more than one mile or more from sources of healthy food such as fresh fruit, vegetables and healthy whole foods that are commonly found in large grocery stores, farmers’ markets and other healthy food providers. Without transportation to healthy food locations, these populations are reliant on quick marts where processed or packaged foods higher in sugars and fats are typical offered. Solutions in this area focus on accessibility to whole food resources, distribution points, or finding the means to pay for delivery of nutritious stable food resources.
Improving nutrition and food security often involves changing behavior. Holistic policies focused on infrastructure and education of how to properly process and store fresh food to alleviate waste and education on how to prepare nutritious food to combat under-nutrition will be the focus in this area. Properly educating and training households on healthy food alternatives, proper nutrition, waste reduction, preparation and storage will build strong relationships with fresh food.
Mitigation or quick recovery from shocks to households like food price volatility, weather, illness, age or economic loss is a fundamental pillar across all food insecurity challenges. Solutions in this area will focus on how to stabilize or soften these shocks to effectively rebound or better prepare households against external forces that affect their access, utilization, and availability to stable food sources.