A Jacksonville farmer and entrepreneur who is turning brownfields in food-desert communities into farms where produce is grown and sold in street-side markets earned first place and a $20K grand prize in the GuideWell Block by Block Food Insecurity Challenge, a statewide competition focused on addressing food insecurity in Florida.
Foodery Farms CEO Angela TenBroeck is a fourth-generation farmer who is passionate about addressing food insecurity, an issue impacting 2.8 million people in Florida alone. TenBroeck says her street-side markets are strategically designed and built in neighborhoods where food is traditionally not grown. Her hope is to expand her markets and environmentally-controlled facilities by adding street-side vending machines stocked with aquaponically-grown produce so consumers can have the ability to purchase fresh produce 24/7.
“We appreciate the opportunity that GuideWell has given us to be able to expand our opportunity for the farm-and-go vending,” said TenBroeck. “This will allow us to purchase materials to begin to put our farm-and-go innovative vending idea to work.”
Foodery Farms was one of 55 organizations that submitted an idea in the Block by Block Food Insecurity Challenge---a competition created by GuideWell Mutual Holding Corporation (GuideWell), the parent to a family of forward-thinking companies focused on transforming health care.
“As a health solutions company, we understand that good health goes beyond traditional medical care. That’s why we’re taking a holistic approach to health by helping to address complex social issues like food insecurity,” said GuideWell President & CEO Pat Geraghty. “Through innovation, collaboration and teamwork, we’re confident we can help create long-term solutions that strengthen the health of our communities.”
This Summer GuideWell opened the statewide challenge to social innovators, local non-profits and organizations in Florida that had the ability to sustainably deploy innovative approaches to solving critical barriers to food security in their communities. Following four regional pitch events throughout the state, GuideWell selected three finalists from each region. The 12 finalists, including TenBroeck, were each awarded $2,000 and an opportunity to compete for the $20,000 state prize to further expand their approach to solving food insecurity.
On Wednesday, Oct. 16th, the 12 finalists convened at the GuideWell Innovation Center in Lake Nona’s Medical City for an opportunity to pitch their innovative solutions at the statewide finals. The following day, TenBroeck’s business, Foodery Farms, was announced as the challenge winner during GuideWell’s 2019 Wellbeing Forum, an all-day event that brought together food security experts from throughout the state and country to engage in dialogue about how to build more food secure communities in Florida.
GuideWell would like to congratulate Foodery Farms and extend a thank you to all of the innovative minds that came together to identify sustainable solutions that address food insecurity in the most vulnerable Florida communities. GuideWell is committed to supporting organizations and programming across the state and country focused on fighting hunger.