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Building Food Secure Communities in Florida

What is Food Insecurity?

Food insecurity refers to USDA’s measure of lack of access to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members and limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods. Food insecurity may reflect a household’s need to make trade-offs between important basic needs, such as housing or medical bills, and purchasing nutritionally adequate food.

Why It Matters

According to Feeding America, one in seven U.S. households are food insecure, equating to 40 million Americans including 12 million children. In Florida, roughly one in six individuals face food insecurity compounding preventative chronic health conditions.

October 16-17

2019 WellBeing Challenge and Forum

Building Food Secure Communities in Florida

GuideWell Innovation is convening over 250 state and national thought leaders at the Block by Block Forum to find solutions for the growing crisis of
food insecurity across Florida

As a precursor to the Block by Block Forum, GuideWell opened a statewide challenge over the summer to identify innovative approaches to solving food insecurity in communities across Florida. We selected twelve amazing organizations  as finalists that will compete in the statewide Block by Block challenge showcase on October 16th for a $20,000 prize.


To identify the most innovative solutions with the greatest potential to address food insecurity in the most vulnerable Florida communities.

To accelerate the speed of innovative solutions to communities, advocates and stakeholders.

To provide insight, raise awareness and encourage engagement in new solutions.

Challenge Regional Finalists

CF - ElderPoint Ministries

ElderPoint is a 501(c)3 non-profit, with a simple mission: to improve the quality of life for senior residents of Polk County, at their point of need, through services that empower healthy, independent living. Our focus is nutrition and transportation, but our practice is to address needs as they arise, walking with seniors to a solution.

Learn more at

Fleet Farming

IDEAS For Us (IDEAS) is an Orlando-based 501(c)(3) grassroots non-profit organization and accredited NGO of the United Nations. IDEAS creates global environmental solutions through local action. Our mission is to develop ideas, fund action, and scale solutions to the world’s most pressing environmental and social challenges. Our vision is to contribute to a future where humanity thrives in harmony with nature and in peace with one another.

Learn more at


FreShip is a proposed solution to the supply chain inefficiency problem. By leveraging Internet of Things technology and e-commerce, FreShip provides a new way to protect consumers and enable suppliers in the food importation market. Our technology utilizes both a hardware component powered by Arduino, NB-IOT modules and a software component powered by machine learning.

Community Service Award

Patti Burns

To combat the lack of food security for our senior citizens, The Food Pantry is a food network in Central Florida that is dedicated to serving senior citizens. With the help of volunteers, The Food Pantry team delivers and assists in door to door food delivery and distribution. For the past 14 years, he Food Pantry has made a significant difference in the senior community and understand that access to quality and nutritious food is fundamental to human existence and healthy lifestyles.


Foodery Farms' mission is to feed our community with healthy, consistently fresh and always safe food while educating future generations about the value of a healthy diet. We are passionate about changing lives with agriculture.

Learn more at

Ohana No Ka

Using the cutting-edge soil technologies that the Ohana staff has been trained to use, Ohana No Ka Oi will revitalize forsaken urban lands at minimal cost to provide healthy nutrient-dense food to local populations stranded in urban food deserts.

Urban Folk Farm

The Urban Folk Farm is a small family owned and operated farm, located on Normandy Blvd. on the Westside of Jacksonville. Our first growing season was winter of 2014, and we’ve been working the fields since. We produce a wide variety of seasonal vegetables, and our selection is constantly changing. We take pride in growing our food holistically; this means we operate pesticide free to ensure that your food is safe to eat right out of the field.

Learn more at

Community Service Award

Hippie Que

Hippie Que is a non-profit food truck that takes food from grocery stores that is about to expire and food waste from restaurants and other local sources. Hippie Que turns the food into a hot Meals on Wheels for people with food insecurities around Jacksonville.

Feeding Tampa Bay

Feeding Tampa Bay, part of the national Feeding America network, focuses on providing food to the hundreds of thousands of food insecure families in the 10-county area of West Central Florida. We change lives one meal at a time by leading our community in the fight against hunger.

Learn more at

The Well

The Well program is unique in that it not only empowers those affected by food insecurity to grow their own food to feed their families, but also provides the infrastructure for growers to contribute to their communities through partnership with The Well’s Mobile Free Market. It is also unique in that it meets people where they are: because Microgreens can be grown anywhere anyone can participate regardless of their physical ability to leave their house or otherwise get to a garden site.

The HEP Urban Empowerment Garden

The Homeless Empowerment Program (HEP) is a nonprofit organization that is recognized as one of the largest and most comprehensive homeless shelters in Tampa Bay. The HEP Urban Empowerment Garden produces organic produce used in the HEP Kitchen to increase access to healthy food for over 350 homeless.

Bridge to Hope

Bridge to Hope builds stronger, happier, and safer communities by empowering their clients to be sustainably self-sufficient. They do this by offering programming and collaborating with the best of other local providers to create opportunities for economic change. Bridge to Hope's goal is to create a model program that can be duplicated in other areas.

Learn more at

Memory Trees

Memory Trees Corporation provides technical, educational and financial social impact investment services and are directed towards improving social and economic conditions in lower-income communities. Memory Trees is currently developing an app, called Zero Hunger, that will strive to connect food-insecure people, with available food sources.

Learn more at

Lotus Farms

Lotus House is an organization dedicated to improving the lives of homeless women, youth and children. We provide sanctuary, support, education, tools and resources that empower them to heal, learn, grow and blossom into who they are truly meant to be.

Learn more at

Community Service Award

Health in the Hood

Health in the Hood is a 501(c)3 but more importantly, we are a part of the communities we work in. We implement and maintain community gardens in food deserts, along with nutrition and fitness education, in order to break barriers between low-income communities and healthy choices.

Learn more at

Key Focus Areas

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Food insecure communities rely on the availability of a dependable and reliable food supply chain. Solutions in this area focus on efficient production and distribution of food resources to increase availability, affordability, and sustainability of the supply of food to insecure communities.

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Often called “Food Deserts”, food insecure populations reside a mile or more from healthy food sources such as fresh fruit, vegetables and healthy whole foods that are commonly found in large grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and by healthy food providers. Without transportation to whole food locations, these populations are reliant on quickie marts where processed or packaged foods higher in sugars and fats are most often found. Solutions in this area focus on accessibility to whole food resources, distribution points, or finding the means to pay for delivery of nutritious staple food resources.

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Improving nutrition and food security often involves changing behavior. Undernutrition is a growing challenge in these communities. Education of how to properly process and store fresh food to alleviate waste as well as how to prepare nutritious food to combat undernutrition will be the focus in this area. Properly educating and training households on healthy food alternatives, proper nutrition, waste reduction, preparation and storage will build strong relationships with fresh food.

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Mitigating or quick recovery from shocks to households like food price volatility, weather, illness, age, or economic loss is a fundamental pillar across all food insecurity challenges.  Solutions in this area will focus on how to stabilize or soften these shocks to effectively rebound or better prepare households against external forces that affect their access, utilization, and availability to stable food resources.

In Partnership with:


Challenge Powered by:



Title Sponsor

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Regional Sponsor (Orlando)

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Block by Block Supporter


WellBeing Forum Lunch Sponsor


Entrepreneurial Partners

Feeding Florida
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FDACS Partnership Seal
FL Food Policy Council
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4r foundation
Ounce of Prevention
Nonprofit Center
University Area CDC
Hupanic Svc Council

Past Programs


The GuideWell Innovation Center is an innovation facility located in Orlando, Fla.'s Lake Nona Medical City. Located among some of the nation's top hospitals, universities, research institutions, and health and science companies, the GuideWell Innovation Center is designed to be an epicenter for health innovation—a place to reimagine and reshape the future of health. It provides an environment where entrepreneurs, research and development experts, and health care leaders collaborate to create, challenge and commercialize the next generation of health solutions.