Bloomington-based Civic Champs has been named winner of the inaugural HungerTech Innovation Challenge hosted by AgriNovus Indiana, earning the $25,000 prize. The young company was selected among 11 teams seeking to improve food security through innovation.
Announced in June, the competition sought innovators to develop technologies and profitable business models to improve access to nutrition for food-insecure Americans who are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Inside INdiana Business has previously reported on Civic Champs and the volunteer management platform the entrepreneurs developed. It is a web-based and mobile platform that automates volunteer management for nonprofit organizations.
“Building solutions that are at the intersection of bringing our communities together through volunteerism while solving the serious challenges that face our friends and neighbors is what excites and motivates our team,” said Geng Wang, chief executive officer of Civic Champs. “Participating in the HungerTech Challenge allows us to work with incredible partners and build on our existing platform to serve the 37 million people who are food insecure across the United States.”
Civic Champs’ solution is a mobile app that allows SNAP shoppers to purchase from participating grocers and schedule home delivery at no additional charge. Current SNAP guidelines prevent the use of SNAP benefits to pay for delivery of online food purchases.
AgriNovus says the company has successfully tested delivery in its local market and plans to use the prize money to advance the app with new features.
The technology will also undergo a pilot program through the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration which administers SNAP benefits in the Hoosier State.