In Press Releases

United Way of the Greater Triangle Launches $50,000 Social Innovation Challenge

Mobilizing the Community to Address Childhood Hunger

MORRISVILLE, NC (May 1, 2014) – Today, United Way of the Greater Triangle (UWGT) announced an innovative new competition aimed at reducing childhood hunger in the Triangle area with one winning idea receiving $50,000. Open to applicants in Durham, Johnston, Orange and Wake counties, the goal is to encourage broad participation in order to pioneer the most effective, innovative, long-term, and strategic solutions.

“The Innovate United Challenge – 100,000 Kids Hungry No More is about coming together and creating solutions that can have a lasting impact on our community,” said Mack Koonce, CEO and president. “From teachers and students to farmers and social entrepreneurs; businesses and nonprofits, the spirit of innovation can change lives by developing, implementing, and scaling high-impact ideas to address childhood hunger.”

In our community, nearly 100,000 children qualify for free and reduced lunches while thousands more babies and young children do not get enough to eat. Twenty percent of children in Durham, Johnston, Orange, and Wake live in food insecure homes; that means their families do not have a stable and predictable plan for feeding their household each and every day. (NCDPI Data, Feeding America 2013 Report)

To help frame the issue, on March 6, United Way convened a meeting with representatives from the UNC School of Government, nonprofits, funders, and the Institute for Emerging Issues. The impassioned sentiment in the room that day became the call-to-action for the Challenge: together we must work to build the movement to say that “we are not going to let 100,000 kids in our community go hungry every day.”  

In addition to the Challenge, United Way is encouraging everyone to take the100,000 Kids, Hungry No More pledge at www.InnovateUnited.orgto say with one voice that childhood hunger is unacceptable in our community and we will work together to alleviate it.

Entries will be judged on the following criteria: Social Impact; Break-Through Potential; Feasibility; Sustainability and Scalability. The Challenge is open to businesses, nonprofits and groups and individuals; the deadline for submissions is June 12, 2014. Find out more at United Way of the Greater Triangle has partnered with Bull City Forward for this Challenge.

Corporate and community partners including Syngenta, Community Food Lab and others are standing with United Way to support this neighbors-helping-neighbors effort.  


About United Way of the Greater Triangle (UWGT)

By working with nonprofit partners, corporations, community and county leaders, along with thousands of volunteers and donors, United Way of the Greater Triangle is creating significant community change in Durham, Johnston, Orange, and Wake counties in North Carolina through an emphasis on achieving specific results and developing lasting solutions to some of our area’s most pressing issues.

Learn more about UWGT’s work at or find out about volunteer opportunities at

About Bull City Forward:

BCF connects social entrepreneurs to the resources, knowledge, and relationships they need to realize the full potential of their social ventures. Through Forward Fellowship, Innovation Challenges, and a community of social entrepreneurs, BCF works to improve our economy, the lives of our citizens, and the environment within Durham and beyond.