Food Insecurity Hackathon: Tech-enabled solutions addressing food insecurity related barriers
Published Apr 25 2022 11:36 AM 2,180 Views

Microsoft partnered with the City of Glendale, CHLA, KidsX, and verynice on a 3-day design-a-thon challenge (March 4-6) to come up with innovative and creative approaches to address the issues which impacts nearly 1.2 million homes in LA County. All these homes struggle with food insecurity due to challenges related to screening for food insecurity and enabling access to quality, healthy food tailored to children and families’ specific needs.


The goal of this event was to ideate upon tech-enabled solutions addressing food insecurity related barriers during this 8-hour virtual hackathon hosted on Microsoft Teams.


6 teams were created with up to 5 members. Each team presented their solution during the sharing session. You can find the top 2 team's solutions below along with a short video.


Team Meals to Go (The winning team)- 

Solution - A system of large format grocery vending machines stocked with bags of surplus and rescued food, conveniently located at school or community centers. The system is digitally interfaced through a web app for parents to locate vending machines, preview groceries, access recipes, and user's feedback. Insights from the app will be used to manage and monitor the vending machines (scheduling servicing and usage).

Meals to go web app.png


Team members: Jenna Gestetner, Laura Green, Jessica Zhang, Tracy Vuu, Eric Williams, Jr.


You can watch their recorded webinar Food Insecurity Webinar – Team Meals To Go 


Team Food Locker -

Solution - A hyper-personalized SMS mobile platform that can help guide families through the process from picking up free/reduced groceries at convenient Amazin hub location to cooking personalized meals. 

Below is the UI for registration page, which includes assistance from a chat bot to onboard users. Similarly, another chat bot is used to gather user's experience and feedback.




Team members: Edward Fu, Tiffany Billey, Maya Omori, Bryan Garcia


Additionally, the top two teams pitched to the City of Glendale Integrated Waste Management teams to see if their solutions can be built into the City’s strategic development plan and thus become invested in and developed.


If you are considering running a hackathon within your organization, check out the Hackathon Starter Kit that we have been working on to help get you started. You can also reach out to your Microsoft contact for guidance on running your own hackathon on Microsoft Teams.



Run your own Hackathon - Hackathon Starter Kit 

Webinar Recording: Food Insecurity Webinar – Team Meals To Go

Meal to Go Pitch to CoG:

Food Locker Pitch to CoG:

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‎Apr 26 2022 12:07 PM
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