July 27 – September 27, 2022
The Hackathon for Food Security, sponsored by the United Way of Greater Knoxville, will bring creators, planners, developers, logisticians, marketers, agencies, and others together to find solutions to the question: “What will it take to create a more accessible, equitable, and complete food security system in Knoxville?”
There are over 56,000 people going hungry every day in Knox County who need our help! Children, adults, and seniors are struggling to get the nutrition they need to not only survive but to live productive lives, as hunger is also often accompanied by other issues, like housing, childcare, healthcare, transportation, and mental health. Help us get healthy food into the hands of those who need it to encourage healthy development and more productive lives.
The event is part of the Unite for Change initiative and offers a new approach for bringing our community together to solve big social issues. Join the Hackathon for Food Security to share your ideas … network and socialize … and together create sustainable solutions that ensure everyone in Knoxville is food secure.
The challenge for teams: Develop innovative ways to increase food access and equity among marginalized communities of Knoxville.
Examples of areas that teams can address:
- What is limiting access to food resources and what can we do to remove that barrier?
- How do we increase collaboration across sectors and disciplines to help more people in marginalized communities?
- How do we improve awareness of food pantry/distribution locations?
- How do we connect all the organizations in the food security network so we leave no gaps in the region?
- How do we ensure the disabled can get to food resources?
- In what ways can the community overcome language barriers in a town that predominantly communicates in English?
The winning team will be awarded a $20,000 grant (written to the Lead Nonprofit Agency) to move their concept forward to the next step towards implementation.
Submissions will be evaluated based on following:
How just, sustainable, and creative is this project compared to current solutions?
Does this project serve people that do not have equitable access to food?
How well does the project address a community-identified need?
Will this project lead to the equitable outcomes for the population served?
Does the project include relationships, knowledge systems, and lived experiences of people and organizations that have previously been neglected or left out?
Who can attend?
Any individual and team who wants to help our neighbors in need is invited to participate. If you’re a creator, planner, developer, logistician, marketer, strategist, or volunteer who wants to help your neighbors, we need you! If you want to learn more about the issue so you can contribute meaningfully, we need you! And if you like the challenge of solving tough problems and are pretty good at it, we definitely need you!
How many teams can enter the challenge?
There is no limit to the number of teams participating.
Do I need to have any specific qualifications to be a participant?
Any individuals 18 or older willing to commit their time and ideas can register to be part of the social hackathon.
How much does it cost?
Registration for the Hackathon for Food Security is free. Any associated costs, such as travel, would be covered by participants.
How many people can be on a team? Are there any specific requirements about team composition?
Teams are encouraged to be inclusive and engage people from a variety of backgrounds and expertise. Teams must include a Lead Nonprofit Agency that has a 501(C)3 status who can provide assistance and receive the grant award to move your idea to implementation should your team win the challenge. Teams should include a minimum of three or more entities. We recommend no more than 10 members per team.
Who can serve as a Lead Nonprofit Agency?
Any organization with 501 (C) 3 status in Knox County can serve as the Lead Nonprofit Agency. The UWGK itself cannot serve in that role since it is responsible for distributing the grant funds.
How does the social hackathon work?
Interested individuals and teams can register beginning July 12th here.
Participants are invited to an orientation on July 27th at 9 am at the UWGK offices, 1301 Hannah Avenue, Knoxville, TN. Each team will have access to their Lead Nonprofit Agency, the UWGK, and other organizations within the food security system to feed their ideation and develop solutions.
Meetings and communications will occur at each team’s discretion. Teams will submit their concepts by September 5th for review by a panel of judges. Three teams will be notified by September 15th of their selection to present their pitch to a panel of judges on September 27th, and the winning team will be awarded a UWGK grant for their Lead Nonprofit Agency to take the next steps to implement their concept.
Who organizes our team’s meetings and actions?
We recommend you select a team leader who will coordinate meetings and activities. Since you will be working on your own, it’s important to set up your process and meetings early and ensure you achieve your goals to meet the submission deadline.
What is the schedule?
Registration is open from July 12. Once a team is formed, it can begin by establishing its own schedule for brainstorming and concepting – e.g., teams may opt to complete their work via regular weekly sessions, a combination of online work with in-person workshops, or in an intensive 24- to 48-hour hackathon marathon. We recommend brainstorming and concepting is complete by the end of August in order to finalize the plan and document it in the provided Letter of Intent form that is available online. Submissions are due to the judging panel by September 5th.
How does our team submit its work?
Complete the team’s Letter of Intent and submit it by September 5th. The LOI form will be available on the UWGK website following the July 27th orientation.
When will teams be notified if they made it as a finalist to present their pitch?
Teams will be notified by September 15th if they will be making a pitch presentation. We recommend you hold September 27th open on your calendar now in the event you are selected.
What prizes will be awarded?
A $20,000 grant will be awarded to the winning team, with the check written to the Lead Nonprofit Agency (501 (C)3), who will work with the team to move the concept forward.
Will ideas that do not win an award be further explored or moved forward?
While there is a limited amount of grant money available through this particular event, good ideas should always continue to be moved forward through whatever mechanisms are available. Keep your eyes open for other grant opportunities, either through the UWGK, foundations, or sponsorships.