In the fourth and final regional pitch event for the week, GuideWell selected three South Florida organizations to advance to the Block by Block Food Insecurity Challenge state finals where they’ll have the opportunity to compete for a $20,000 state grand prize. Bridge to Hope, Lotus House and Memory Trees were selected from 9 regional finalists across South Florida on Sept. 13 to each receive $2,000 in funding to implement their innovative ideas to address food insecurity.
• Bridge to Hope (Miami-Dade County): Hope Hubs is a mobile food pantry that delivers services directly to underserved communities.
• Lotus House (Miami-Dade County): The Farm at Lotus Village is an interactive learning environment and educational program for homeless children that uses a working hydroponic urban farm
• Memory Trees (Palm Beach County): Memory Trees has designed a mobile phone App that connects people who are hungry, or generally food insecure, with available food sources.
Bridge to Hope, Lotus House and Memory Trees now join nine other organizations from throughout Florida who were also selected as finalists to compete in the state finals. The statewide challenge was open to all entrepreneurs, nonprofits, innovators and organizations to accelerate innovative thinking and make Florida communities more food secure.
Aside from the regional pitch event in South Florida, three other regional pitch events took place in Central Florida, North Florida and West Florida during the week of Sept. 9-13. The three finalists from each region will present their approaches and compete for the grand prize of $20,000 at the Food Insecurity Challenge statewide showcase on Wednesday, Oct. 16 at the GuideWell Innovation Center. All 12 statewide finalists will also receive a unique opportunity to attend the GuideWell Block by Block Food Insecurity Forum on Thursday, Oct. 17, an invitation-only, collaborative event bringing together experts and stakeholders from across the state and nation to focus on building food-secure communities in Florida.