Register to participate in Food Insecurity Challenge

Woman addresses a small lecture hall filled with people sitting in seats.
Students and local community members are encouraged to register to take part in the second annual Food Insecurity Challenge. They will work in teams to generate new and innovative solutions to food insecurity.

The Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship, in collaboration with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Ivy College of Business, presents the second annual Food Insecurity Challenge; a community-wide event aimed at addressing critical issues surrounding food insecurity. This unique challenge invites students and local community members from diverse disciplines to form teams and create innovative solutions to this global issue. 

Event Kick-off Details:

Date: Nov. 6, 2023

Time: 5-8 p.m.

Location: Student Innovation Center Launch Pad

How Does the Food Insecurity Challenge Work?

On November 6, 2023, the Food Insecurity Challenge starts with a Hunger Banquet at the Student Innovation Center Launch Pad. A local expert on food insecurity will begin the program by shedding light on the issues, from local food poverty to global hunger. They’ll present specific problems to be addressed during the challenge, such as food pantries, rural food insecurity, food quality versus quantity, food delivery, and food waste. After the banquet, students will form teams (up to six people) to brainstorm solutions to these challenges. They can ask questions, refine their concepts, and get ready for action as the challenge officially commences.

Two team options for students:

  1. Form a team in advance and sign up together.
  2. Sign up individually and find a team at the event. We’ll facilitate team matching during the event, ensuring everyone gets a chance to join a team by the end.

What's a Hunger Banquet?

At the event, you’ll draw a ticket that assigns you to a high-, middle-, or low-income earners category. Your meal will correspond to your category, determined by the luck of the draw (meal options and portions are deliberately unequal to highlight food inequality).

After the keynote address, students will split into topic categories to brainstorm issues they want to tackle. Those with pre-formed teams will choose their topics, while individual registrants can select a group based on their interests and skills. Once everyone’s on a team, they’ll break into smaller groups (up to six people) to brainstorm solutions, ask questions, refine their ideas, and get ready for action. Let the challenge begin!

Between the kickoff and final presentations, students will have a 30-minute mentoring session with business professionals and faculty/staff experienced in the challenge’s field. At least one team member must attend the mentor meeting to qualify for the final prize. Be prepared with your pitch deck and practice presentation to make the most of this experience and gain valuable feedback to help your team win!

Final Presentation Details:

Date: Nov. 28, 2023

Time: 5-8 p.m.

Location: Student Innovation Center Launch Pad

Finally, students will present their solutions on November 28 at the Student Innovation Center Launch Pad from 5-8 pm. After the presentations, judges will deliberate and select three winners. A networking reception will follow.

Presentations should be no longer than 4 minutes, be accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation, and address:

  • Problem
  • Explanation of solution
  • Market demographic (who will this solution benefit)
  • Timeline for implementation
  • Resources needed

Three cash prizes will be awarded to the winning teams:

1st Place — $5,000

2nd Place — $2,500

3rd Place — $1,500

The event is free and open to the public. Registration is appreciated. For more information and to register for the event, visit the Food Insecurity Challenge event webpage. Questions can be directed to the Judi Eyles,