GENYOUth collaborated with No Kid Hungry Missouri to host our largest ever AdCap Innovation Challenge. Read how 93 students from 23 different schools all around the state gathered in Jefferson City to brainstorm, share, and innovate.
This particular AdCap event was special because it was our largest by school, ever, and because we got the opportunity to work with No Kid Hungry, an organization with which we share many common goals. This time, 14 winning student teams were awarded grants, making for a total of $14,000 given away by No Kid Hungry.
As always, our AdCap program is a way for us to empower youth, to encourage them to use their voice, and to give them a platform to be change agents within their schools. We want to help students develop solutions to health and wellness issues in their communities; It’s about solving problems that impact youth everyday, like, how can we make sure students aren’t skipping breakfast? Or how do we make sure they have access to nutritious meals? And because students understand the core of these issues better than adults do, AdCap is a great way for them to speak up about what the root of these problems are--is it awareness? Access? Time? Or something different altogether? Through this mini-Shark-Tank style event, we hope to get closer and closer to solving these food insecurity issues within schools across America.
We were also lucky enough to have attendees from the Missouri Department of Education, as well as the Arby’s Foundation, Midwest Dairy, and Thirsty Coconut who worked alongside No Kid Hungry to create our incredible panel of judges. The students also enlisted the help of many mentors from local schools and businesses who worked with them to flesh out their ideas into short and succinct 60 second pitches. Every student team displayed courage, creativity, and ambition, but ultimately, only 14 teams took home a grant.
Some winning ideas included: Carthage High School’s snack cart program for after-school students, as well as Rogers Middle School’s healthy after-school cooking program. Additionally, students from Central High School suggested the idea of providing refrigerated storage for those who need to stay after-school and want access to a healthy meal at the end of the day. All of these ideas, and more, impressed us in Jefferson City this past month. We were blown away by the entrepreneurial spirit of the students in the room and we can’t wait to see how they bring their ideas to life in their schools. All of this couldn’t have happened without our incredible partners at No Kid Hungry Missouri--thanks to them and our many other amazing collaborators we’ve now been able to award over 1,000 different student projects and ideas across the country, bringing us one step closer to ending food insecurity once and for all.