Do you have an idea to enable equitable access to nutritious, sustainable, and culturally-sensitive food for all students at your university?

Nourishing Innovation: Campus Nutrition and Food Security Contest

Nourishing Innovation is a contest for students at BCIT, SFU, UNBC, and VIU to develop innovative solutions to address food security on campus. Prizes for finalists and winning teams range from $500 to $2,000. The winning ideas will be implemented at each campus at the start of the Fall 2021 semester.

The finalists that advanced to the next phase of the contest were:

  • Fresh Food for All, BCIT
  • Guardians of Ghrelin, BCIT
  • Tatti Food Team, BCIT
  • The Garden Buddies, BCIT
  • Flexi-Lunch Team, SFU
  • Food Justice Coop, SFU
  • Eco Living Kitchen, UNBC
  • VIU Peace Garden Club, VIU (also winner of the People’s Choice Award)

Due to the heat wave and school closures, the Pitch Event has been cancelled. Due to scheduling challenges, we are unable to have one Pitch Event. Instead, videos of individual pitch sessions will be uploaded after they have taken place.

Contest Gallery

All Entries

Pitch Event Videos

Contest Rules

  1. All current students (full-time and part-time) at the partner institutions (British Columbia Institute of Technology, Simon Fraser University, University of Northern British Columbia, and Vancouver Island University) who are continuing their studies in the Fall 2021 semester may participate in this contest. Students who are graduating or recently graduated (must have been registered as a student in the Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 semester), or are starting studies in Fall 2021 are also eligible to participate, however will need to be on a team with at least one continuing student.
  2. Students may participate as individuals or in teams of up to four students. Teams may be formed by students from different partner institutions. Include the names, institutions, and official institutional email addresses of all team members in your contest entry submission form.
  3. Only one contest entry per student (i.e. you can only be part of one team). Any students submitting multiple entries will be disqualified.
  4. The contest entry (video and description) must be generated by the student participants.
  5. Ideas are to be presented in a video up to 3 minutes in length with a description of up to 200 words, which serves as the contest entry. All videos greater than 3 minutes in length will be disqualified.
  6. Contest entries must be submitted via the form on the Nourishing Innovation website. Please do not submit contest entries by any other means.
  7. Contest entries may be submitted from May 6 at 2:00pm PDT to June 6 at 11:59pm PDT.
  8. The identity and student status of finalists and winners will be verified before their prizes are confirmed.

Evaluation Criteria

Contest entries will be evaluated based on this criteria. When preparing your contest entry, ensure that it covers each of the items outlined in the criteria descriptions. You can cover the items below between the video and written description (i.e. you don’t need to repeat everything in both, as long as it’s included in the video or the description).

Food Security Potential (0 to 10 points)        

  • What is your solution?
  • How will this solution be able to address challenges with student food security at your university campus?          

Implementation Potential (0 to 10 points)

  • Which university campus is this solution designed for?
  • What would you need to do to implement this solution at your university campus? Be specific (e.g. staff resources, land, facilities, equipment).
  • How realistic is it for this idea to be able to be led by students (with support from staff) at your university campus?         

JEDDI* (0 to 10 points)

  • How will this solution reduce barriers to participation and enable a sense of belonging for students from communities that are traditionally marginalized?
  • How will this solution honour the traditional beliefs, ways of knowing, and practices of our Indigenous relations?
  • How will the solution address the needs of students from diverse and intersectional identities?

Communications (0 to 3 points)

  • Clear and concise presentation of the idea
  • Quality of the video

What happens after I submit my entry?

  • All contest entries will be evaluated by a panel of judges from the partner institutions based on the evaluation criteria. Up to 8 finalists (teams) will be chosen to advance to the second round (1 finalist from each partner institution + 4 finalists based on the highest scoring submissions). Each finalist will receive a $500 prize. Finalists will be notified of their selection by June 17. Finalists will also be announced on the website and social media.
  • A “People’s Choice Award” will be given to the contest entry that receives the most number of votes and a $500 prize. You are welcome to encourage your friends to vote. Anyone with an institutional email address can vote, including current students, alumni, staff, and faculty.
  • Finalists are invited to an online solutions pitch event on June 28 from 1-3 pm PDT. Further details on this event will be provided to finalists. The prizes to be awarded at the online solutions pitch event are $2,000 for first place, $1,500 for second place, and $1,000 for third place. Winners will be announced on the website and social media.
  • The winning solution (or combination of the winning solution plus runner-ups) will be implemented at the partner institutions in Fall 2021.

About Us

The BC Collaborative for Social Infrastructure (BCCSI) is a joint project between BCIT, UNBC, SFU, and VIU funded by the McConnell Foundation to advance and scale BC higher education social infrastructure to strengthen communities while sharing knowledge. This project has four pillars with one focused on a ‘Green and Sustainable Campus and community’. This pillar has since focused on addressing and supporting each institution’s social, cultural and environmental challenges with food systems. The steering committee for this pillar has representatives from all institutions. There is also a wider stakeholder group from each of the institutions as well as local community food system experts and practitioners. The BCCSI created Nourishing Innovation to engage students in taking leadership on creating and implementing solutions to improve nutrition and food security on campus.

Food was used and continues to be used as a means of colonialism that has resulted in intergenerational trauma and harm to our Indigenous relations. Through working collaboratively, we hope to bring back the healing, spiritual, and cultural importance of food as a start to walking the path of reconciliation with our Indigenous relations.

Partner Institutions

The British Columbia Institute of Technology acknowledges that our campuses are located on the unceded traditional territories of the Coast Salish Nations of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam).

Simon Fraser University respectfully acknowledges the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), q̓íc̓əy̓ (Katzie), kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem), Qayqayt, Kwantlen, Semiahmoo and Tsawwassen peoples on whose traditional territories our three campuses reside.

The University of Northern British Columbia Prince George campus is situated on the t​raditional territory of the Lheidli T’enneh, part of the Dakelh (Carrier) First Nations. The South-Central campus in Quesnel is situated on the traditional territory of the Lhtako Dené (Red Bluff Band), Nazko, Lhoosk’uz Dené Nation (Kluskus Band), and ?Esdilagh First Nations (formerly Alexandria Band). Lhtako, Nazko, and Lhoosk’uz are Dakelh First Nations, and ?Esdilagh is a member of the Tsilhqot’in Nation. The Peace River-Liard campus in Fort St. John is situated on the traditional territory of the Doig River, Blueberry River and Halfway River First Nations. They are the Dunne-Za people. The Northwest campus in Terrace is situated on traditional Ts’msyen (Tsimshian) territory of the Kitsumkalum and Kitselas First Nations. It includes a satellite campus in the coastal community of Prince Rupert. UNBC also holds an affiliation agreement with the Wilp Wilxo’oskwhl (House of Wisdom) Nisga’a Institute (WWNI), a federated Aboriginal post-secondary institution established in 1993. The WWNI is located in the Nass Valley in the village of Gitwinksihlkw.

The VIU community acknowledges and thanks the Snuneymuxw, Quw’utsun and Tla’amin, on whose traditional lands we teach, learn, research, live and share knowledge.