Accenture Announces U.S. Innovation Challenge Winner

University of Florida team to help Feeding America address food insecurity in college communities

Originally Published by Accenture.

A team from the University of Florida has won this year’s U.S. Accenture Innovation Challenge and will work with Accenture (NYSE: ACN) to provide management consulting services to help the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, Feeding America®, address food insecurity and reduce hunger in and around college communities — the focus of this year’s Challenge.

The winning team was selected in March following multiple rounds of competition involving more than 1,100 applicants on 59 teams from more than 50 undergraduate campuses. The proposal from the University of Florida called for integration of an existing online app to better connect food donors with nonprofit relief organizations, extend the distribution network, and add new campus “ambassadors” to help raise resources and awareness for addressing food insecurity in and around college communities.

“Innovation is fundamentally about making things better and doing so boldly,” said Marty Rodgers, managing director of Accenture’s nonprofit practice. “In a nation where one in six kids is uncertain of their next meal and up to one in five college students face some degree of food insecurity, we can do better. The Accenture Innovation Challenge asked students to be bold in tackling food insecurity in college communities — and they did not disappoint.”

Feeding America fights hunger and food insecurity through a network of 200 food banks by reducing food waste and redirecting food to people in need.

“The passion and ideas the students presented demonstrated this generation’s commitment to engage in community service,” said Blake Thompson, Feeding America’s chief supply chain officer. “It’s encouraging to see as we lean-in more to explore innovative ideas that help drive our vision of a hunger-free America forward in the coming years.”

Launched in 2012, the Accenture Innovation Challenge provides college students from across the United States an opportunity to offer ideas and solutions to support a priority goal of a nonprofit organization. Accenture organizes two such competitions each year, one for college undergraduates and one for students in graduate programs. Winning teams help implement their proposals with the nonprofit organization and an Accenture consulting team.