Pitch Competition: Innovative Solutions to Hunger at CUNY

A collaboration between Swipe Out Hunger and Healthy CUNY

The Opportunity 

Calling all CUNY students! You are invited to participate in Swipe Out Hunger’s first ever pitch competition. This is an opportunity for you to design and spearhead a project to address student food insecurity and leave lasting change on your campus. Anything from recovering produce for a free campus farmers’ market, meal vouchers to local restaurants, opening a food closet… the sky is the limit! Two to four projects will be selected to implement their projects and receive:

  • Necessary seed funding (up to $1,500.00 per project)
  • Preliminary planning calls and continued coaching support with Swipe Out Hunger and Kathleen Delgado
  • Access to Swipe Out Hunger and Healthy CUNY network for project outreach
  • Publicity through Swipe Out Hunger social platforms and website

We are so excited to see your ideas.

How to Apply

Applications should be around 2-4 pages. This application should take no longer than 2 hours. This is meant to actualize projects you’ve always wanted to see on your campus. All proposals should include:

Information about student(s) spearheading the project (one word answers)

– Name:
– Year: 
– Major:
– Involvement on Campus / Any Relevant Experience: e.g. involvement with campus food pantry, Healthy CUNY, any other campus organizations

Implementation plan

– What is the program you would like to implement? How will it work? (2-4 sentences) 
– Why is it a necessary intervention on your campus? (5-10 sentences)
– What resources will be used/needed to sustain the program? E.g. financially, student involvement, staff involvement, etc. (2-4 sentences)
– Who do you need to engage to start this program and make it successful? (2-4 sentences)
– How will you market the resources/program to students who are facing food insecurity? (2-4 sentences)
– Is this a temporary/one-time solution or an ongoing program? If one-time, how will you make a lasting impact in some form? (2-4 sentences)

Roll-out schedule

Present a detailed timeline for engaging necessary individuals/campus offices, marketing the program/intervention, launching the program, and creating a lasting impact. 
Your timeline is up to your schedule and the context on your campus. Project implementation can begin as early as November to the beginning of the spring semester. Be as detailed as you can to give us a clear idea of your approach. 

Budget

A line item budget considering what you will need for each stage of your timeline. Possibilities include the seed funding for the program itself (e.g. funding first meal vouchers, food for an event/pantry, etc.), marketing materials (e.g. posters, one-pagers, handouts for central spaces on campus), booking space, additional materials.

We encourage both individuals and groups of students to submit proposals.

For reference, here are some examples of innovative programs Swipe Out Hunger campus partners have implemented:
Santa Monica Community College – FLVR program and free weekly farmers’ market
Linn-Benton Community College – Round Up program

Timeline

  • October 16, 2019 – Pitch Proposal Due Date
  • November 2019 – Selected projects announced
  • November 2019 – May 2020 – Project Implementation begins
  • June 8, 2020 – Project Reflection submitted to Swipe Out Hunger

Apply

Applications can be submitted to Maddie Alpert McCarthy at Maddie@swipehunger.org.

Judging Criteria 

  • Innovative:  Solutions that leverage people, resources, and time that are available in the community. The proposal amplifies the structures and funding that already exist.
  • Sustainable: Projects that may rely on seed funding, but can continue to thrive beyond this year with identified or minimal funding.
  • Collaborative: The proposed project involves at least one or more other departments, on-campus resources (e.g. financial aid, student resources, etc.), student groups, or nonprofits. 

The Judges

  • Kathleen Delgado Coordinator, CUNY Food Security Advocates Project at CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute 
  • Patti Lamberson Deputy Director, Health CUNY
  • Nicholas Freudenberg Director, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute and Healthy CUNY
  • Marissa Schnitman Director of Programs, Swipe Out Hunger
  • Naomi Eisenberg Executive Director, Good People Fund 

The Hosts 

Swipe Out Hunger is a national nonprofit that partners with colleges and universities to end student hunger. Since their start in 2010, Swipe Out Hunger has become the leading organization addressing food insecurity on campus through its innovative programming and success in policy, as seen in the Hunger-Free Campus Bill movement in California and New Jersey.

The organization works with universities and the community to provide the most efficient logistical and financial anti-hunger models. This includes meal swipe donation programs, SNAP enrollment, food pantry support, securing public funding, and addressing stigma. Swipe Out Hunger has more than 80 campus partners and has served 1.7 million meals to date.

The Healthy CUNY Initiative (HCI) is a campaign designed by CUNY students, faculty and staff to make CUNY the healthiest urban university in the United States. HCI seeks to ensure that students leave CUNY healthier and better able to protect their future health than when they entered.  Acknowledging the strong connection between educational achievement and health, HCI seeks to reduce the physical, psychological and family-related health barriers that block academic success and graduation.


The CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute
 is an academic research and action center at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy located in Harlem, NYC. We provide evidence to inform municipal policies that promote equitable access to healthy, affordable food. We apply an intersectional perspective that links nutrition and health to sustainable community and workforce development, and we engage partners from city government, community organizations, and the university in food policy research and action.

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