In Features

$50,000 Social Innovation Challenge to End Childhood Hunger

We have launched an innovative new competition aimed at reducing childhood hunger in the Triangle aresocial-innovation-circle - weba with one winning idea receiving $50,000. The Challenge which follows the format of an entrepreneurial startup competition is 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 a food insecure home; that means their families do not have a stable and predictable plan for feeding their household each and every day.

In seeking a solution, United Way brought together experts from across sectors including representatives from the UNC School of Government, nonprofits, funders, and the Institute for Emerging Issues. The consensus on that day became the call-to-action for the Challenge: together we must work to build a movement that will say “we are not going to let 100,000 kids in our community go hungry every day.”

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 www.InnovateUnited.org.

In addition to the Challenge, United Way is encouraging everyone to take the 100,000 Kids, Hungry No More pledge and say with one voice that childhood hunger is unacceptable in our community and we will work together to alleviate it.

United Way of the Greater Triangle has partnered with Bull City Forward for this Challenge. Corporate and community partners including Syngenta, Arysta Life Sciences, Community Food Lab and others are standing with United Way to support this neighbors-helping-neighbors effort.