Do you have an idea for a small change that could generate a positive impact related to our food system? We want to hear from you.

$15,000 in total grants available. Submit your application by Friday, February 28.

About the Impact Challenge

As our food system continues to evolve in a quest to catch up with consumer demands, there are increasing environmental, social and health impacts to balance. We need innovative and disruptive solutions to define what the future of food looks like, and do so in a sustainable way. We need change-makers. We need you. 

For this year’s challenge, we are looking for ideas that will help drive this transformation towards a sustainable food system for all. Ideas can include ways to address food waste, opportunities to tackle climate related impacts tied to food production, or tactics to enable increased access to nutritious foods among others! 

As part of the 2020 Small Change Big Impact Summit at Harvard University, Hormel Foods is offering up to $15,000 in combined grant funding to support ideas that, no matter how big or small, can lead to a positive impact. Your idea can make an impact and we encourage you to share it! 

We welcome K-12 & college students, nonprofit organizations and startups/small businesses to apply. 


The judges will review all submissions ahead of the event and select a winner under each division. Winners will be invited to attend the 2020 Food Summit and present their idea in a panel. Additionally, 2020 Impact Challenge winners will receive the following grant funding to further their idea, along with dedicated mentoring and support from the sponsors: 

  • K-12 Students or Teachers: $1,500 
  • College or Graduate Students: $3,500
  • Nonprofit Organizations 501 (c)(3): $5,000
  • Startups or Small Business: $5,000

Submit Your Application

Evaluating the Ideas

A panel of environmental and social entrepreneurs, Hormel Foods representatives and culinary experts will evaluate the applications, based on the following criteria:

  • Potential for environmental and social impact
  • Focus on community building 
  • Focus on environmental and social justice 
  • Feasibility to launch & readiness for implementation
  • Scalability and Reach
2020 Impact Challenge Judges  

Scott Aakre
VP Consumer Insights and Corporate Innovation
Hormel Foods

Crista Martin

Crista Martin
Director of Strategic Initiatives and Communications
Harvard University Dining Services

Garrett Law
Chief Strategy Officer
Attention Span

Neal Doyle
Director, Digital Experience Platform, Personal Investing
Fidelity Investments

Hon. Robert Barber
Prince Lobel Type LLP

See what last year’s Impact Challenge winners have been up to! 

More than a dozen organizations with ideas for improving our food system applied for funding to make their ideas happen. Learn more about their ideas.

More Details:

Friday, February 28th: Applications are due (complete application below) by 5pm ET.

Wednesday 18th & Thursday 19th, March: Impact Challenge winners will be notified and invited to present their idea at the 2020 Food Summit.