WALTHAM, Mass., Feb. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- InnoCentive, Inc., the global leader in open innovation, crowdsourcing, and prize competitions, and AARP Foundation, AARP's charitable affiliate, today announced the winners of two Challenges that sought innovative ideas for long-term, sustainable programs aimed at preventing, reducing, or eliminating food insecurity and the number of food deserts, respectively, among adults 50 and older without reliance on food provisions by third-party providers or benefits assistance, such as food stamps. Three Solvers were awarded a total of $25,000 for their winning submissions. Overall, the two Challenges attracted more than 1,000 Solvers who submitted a total of 179 solutions.
"With more than 9 million older adults facing the threat of hunger, we are always looking for creative solutions to help tackle this pressing issue," said Jo Ann Jenkins, president of AARP Foundation. "Working with InnoCentive and its novel crowdsourcing approach is putting us on the right path to making sure low-income, aging adults get enough to eat."
In collaboration with InnoCentive, AARP Foundation launched the AARP Foundation Pavilion on InnoCentive.com in July 2012, along with the first two Challenges of the AARP Foundation-InnoCentive Challenge Series. The Drive to End Hunger – Elimination of Food Deserts Challenge sought ideas for reducing or eliminating "food deserts," defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a "low-income census tract where a substantial number or share of residents has low access to a supermarket or large grocery store." The Drive to End Hunger – Sustainable Solutions Challenge sought ideas for long-term, sustainable solutions that prevent food insecurity from happening in the first place or that reduce an older adult's vulnerability to food insecurity in a significant way. Three Solvers were awarded a total of $25,000 for their winning submissions:
- People's Emergency Center and the West Philadelphia Food Hub – Winner of the Elimination of Food Deserts Challenge. The West Philly Food Hub, in partnership with People's Emergency Center (PEC), Greensgrow Farms, Preston's Paradise, and Drexel University, will operate a permanent neighborhood market to expand their existing mobile fresh food distribution program to low-income senior housing facilities in West Philadelphia. With the support of the AARP Foundation, West Philly Food Hub can continue pre-development work on its market, budget for future senior programming at the site, and expand mobile distribution to two additional senior centers. For more information, please visit: www.pec-cares.org and www.westphillyfoodhub.org.
- Deneene Brockington on behalf of Equal Dollars Community Currency (a program of Resources for Human Development) – Winner of the Sustainable Solutions Challenge. Equal Dollars Community Currency is the basis of this sustainable solution to food insecurity among low-income, urban adults age 50 and older. The organization's local currency system facilitates the exchange and production of goods and services, including the sponsorship of two weekly fresh produce food markets and an urban micro farm. Older adults obtain Equal Dollars by volunteering, offering services or goods to other members and then, completing the cycle, they use the currency to purchase affordable, locally grown produce and food goods for themselves, family members and friends, and others in need in the community. For more information, please visit: www.equaldollars.org and www.rhd.org.
- Angelic Organics Learning Center – A second winner of the Sustainable Solutions Challenge, along with an additional $5,000 award. The "Full of Life: Cares and Shares" Project creates a sustainable, long-term solution to food insecurity among older adults in Rockford, Illinois by establishing a local, urban Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm in which at least 10 senior citizens receive free bi-weekly shares of healthy, locally grown produce and connect with each other and local teens in their community. Other community members can purchase shares of produce to help offset the cost of discounted shares. The project was developed and is led by the Roots & Wings Youth Leaders, a youth group focused on urban agriculture and youth leadership development facilitated by Angelic Organics Learning Center, a non-profit organization that helps urban and rural people build local food systems in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. For more information, please visit: www.learngrowconnect.org.
"We were delighted by the participation from our Solvers in these important Challenges and our heartfelt congratulations go out to the three winners," said Dwayne Spradlin, CEO of InnoCentive. "We are immensely grateful for our collaboration with AARP Foundation to help solve pressing problems affecting older Americans and we look forward to future Challenges focused on this most worthy of causes."
About AARP Foundation
AARP Foundation is working to win back opportunity for struggling Americans 50+ by being a force for change on the most serious issues they face today: housing, hunger, income and isolation. By coordinating responses to these issues on all four fronts at once, and supporting them with vigorous legal advocacy, the Foundation serves the unique needs of those 50+ while working with local organizations nationwide to reach more people, work more efficiently and make resources go further. AARP Foundation is AARP's affiliated charity. Learn more at www.aarpfoundation.org
InnoCentive is the global leader in crowdsourcing innovation problems to the world's smartest people who compete to provide ideas and solutions to important business, social, policy, scientific, and technical challenges. Our global network of millions of problem solvers, proven challenge methodology, and cloud-based technology combine to help our clients transform their economics of innovation through rapid solution delivery and the development of sustainable open innovation programs. For more than a decade, leading organizations such as AARP Foundation, Air Force Research Labs, Booz Allen Hamilton, Cleveland Clinic, Eli Lilly & Company, EMC Corporation, NASA, Nature Publishing Group, Procter & Gamble, Scientific American, Syngenta, The Economist, Thomson Reuters, UnitedHealthcare, and the U.S. EPA have partnered with InnoCentive to rapidly generate innovative new ideas and solve problems faster, more cost effectively, and with less risk than ever before. For more information, visit www.innocentive.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 1-855-CROWDNOW (U.S.) or +44 (0) 207 935 0827 (International).
Schwartz MSL for InnoCentive
AARP Media Relations
SOURCE InnoCentive, Inc.