American Heart Association

Foodscape Innovation Awards

hand holding cell phone with plants

Consumer Choice: The Votes Are In!

We want to publicly recognize foodscape innovation efforts designed to make a significant impact.

Here are the top four finalists selected by a panel of expert judges. Consumers have cast their votes, and the 2019 awardee will be announced soon.

The bigger the impact, the better.

Meet the Finalists

Innovation #1:

Food Forward Produce Pick-Ups

Food Forward is a nonprofit organization focused on fighting hunger and food waste by rescuing fresh, surplus produce and donating this bounty to Southern Californians facing food insecurity. Food Forward's Produce Pick-Ups are community fruit and vegetable distributions that take place six times a month at sites in and around Los Angeles. Each event provides 8-10 varieties of produce to families, individuals, and local hunger relief agencies who organize their own distributions. Between 8,000-15,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables are distributed in only a few hours, 100% free of charge. These events provide a sustainable and reliable source of fresh food to families, while also preventing perfectly delicious produce from being thrown away.

Innovation #2:

Fresh Connect – prescribing food as medicine

Fresh Connect is a payment platform enabling healthcare providers to cover the cost of food while generating data-driven insights to guide patient care. It challenges existing produce prescription models in three major ways: program customization, data and reporting capabilities, and use of technology. Fresh Connect improves accessibility and affordability of healthy foods by collaborating with major medical institutions to customize the implementation plan, rather than offering a one-size-fits-all approach. Further, we have a dietitian on-site at select Fresh Connect retailers who engages patients through tasting samples and nutrition-based conversation. Fresh Connect is improving the accessibility and affordability of healthy foods in order to support healthier communities.

Innovation #3:

Fresh Food Collective – increasing food access through innovative partnerships

Fresh Food Collective partners with food pantries, libraries, the local hospital and Federally Qualified Health Center, and social agencies to deliver local produce to individuals in need. These partnerships are effective in breaking down access barriers due to increased hours of availability, no visitation requirements, and decreased stigma. Visitors are welcome to take fresh food without attesting to income, address requirements, geographic constrictions, or attendance limitations. They are invited to visit multiple fresh food sites and sample a broad range of produce. Our library program, fresh food deliveries to senior centers and low-income housing, and in clinic outreach partnerships have been especially effective in increasing access by overcoming transportation difficulties, connecting visitors to long term resources, and inviting guests to take as much as they need. Our mission is to service families without judgement and offer diverse produce and access opportunities while supporting and benefiting local agriculture.

Innovation #4:

WICShopper  App - digital inspiration helping families enjoy healthy foods

The Special Supplementary Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) gives low-income families free healthy foods that provide specific nutrition that pregnant women, infants and children need (e.g. iron from fortified cereal, protein from beans, etc.). Due to declining use of WIC foods, we helped a WIC app developer use food marketing techniques to inspire participating families to eat more WIC foods, with the goal of improving their health. To help participants see unused foods as missed opportunities for healthy, enjoyable family meals, our project added an end-of-month alert that told participants they had unused foods to redeem within 5 days, and an engaging recipe library with improved food photography that highlighted new ways to enjoy all WIC foods. We evaluated WIC food use after the app launch and found increases in all WIC foods, including whole grains, iron-fortified cereal, juice, and non-fat yogurt.

The voting period has ended. Please check back soon for announcement of the awardee.

About the Awards

Everyone deserves the chance for a longer, healthier life.

The American Heart Association is working to create a world of longer, healthier lives through better nutrition for all. We’re encouraging innovative leaders across the foodscape to build a food system that significantly improves health while also addressing issues of sustainability — the system’s impact on people and planet. We believe not only food security but nutrition security is a human right. All people deserve access to affordable and nutritious foods and help making healthier choices.

What is the Foodscape?

Foodscape is our name for the food ecosystem — all the places and spaces where food is grown, manufactured, marketed, acquired, prepared, consumed, talked about or given meaning.

Who is eligible?

The Awards are open to companies and organizations operating in the United States from all sectors of the food and beverage industry, including, but not limited to:

  • Agriculture
  • Ingredient suppliers
  • Trade/commodity groups
  • Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies
  • Restaurants & foodservice
  • Retailers
  • Collaborators from multiple sectors working on a project together
  • Technology companies with innovations that help the food industry make positive changes

2019 Awards Resources: