The Technology Innovation Awards (TIAs) celebrate nonprofit organizations that have inventive plans to use technology to tackle the hardest challenges. In September, three award winners walked out of Tech Forward 2017 with a $10,000 check after they took the stage to share their organization's story and plan.
Amanda Fury took home a TIA for her nonprofit organization, Vetri Community Partnership.
Amanda Fury, on behalf of Vetri Community Partnership, accepts the Technology Innovation Award from the Tech Forward Partners
Vetri Community Partnership empowers children and families to lead healthier lives through fresh food, hands-on experiences and education.Vetri works with Philadelphia schools to bring better nutrition for students into school lunchrooms.
Vetri Community Partnership applied for the Technology Innovation Award in order to fund a much needed App for their Eatiquette program. Through the Eatiquette program, Vetri served a healthy lunch to 2,402 children each day totaling to almost 400,000 meals last year, and almost a million since the program began. Each meal is healthy, and scratch-made from vegetables and whole grains
If you have not been to a school cafeteria recently, it might be hard to understand how innovative and important Eatiquette is. In most cafeterias in Philadelphia ketchup really is ‘a vegetable,’ as are tater-tots. The drinks they serve are full of added sugars.
Many Philadelphia children get a majority of their days’ food through the Eatiquette program. Unfortunately, 98% of students in the Philadelphia School District, are not in Eatiquette schools, and their most reliable meal of the day is sometimes empty calories. A lunch at an Eatiquette school, on the other hand, might be citrus-glazed chicken, a sweet potato and kale barley salad, with fresh blueberries for dessert. The tables are round and sized for conversation. Kids use actual plates, cups, and silverware. There are pitchers of water, not boxes of sugar beverages. Vetri wants every child in school to have access to lunches like these, not just the lucky ones at Eatiquette schools.
VCP needs an app as they grow their Eatiquette program: the E360 platform. This app will save Vetri's staff hours every week, save cafeteria staff an hour every day, while empowering our cafeteria partners to be more involved in ordering and menu planning.
The Technology Innovations Award will help take Vetri's work to even more schools within the next two years by saving time and improving their relationship with food service partners. Currently, chef mentors spend approximately 15% of their time doing clerical work. Because of this, each Chef Mentor can only handle one or two schools, and it takes months to get cafeteria staff trained in our program. Less time spent doing routing paperwork means more time spent with cafeteria staff, helping them become independent. By using the new App, Chef Mentors will be able to spend less time training new schools allowing Vetri to expand their reach quickly. In time, it will also allow fewer chef mentors to manage more schools. The App will also save time in the kitchen, which is important because healthy food can take longer to make.
Tech Impact and the Tech Forward Partners applaud Vetri Community Partnership for their innovative approach to childrens' nutrition. We wish Vetri Community Partnership the best of luck in their endeavors.
The TIAs are a great way to showcase and promote the groundbreaking application of tech to mission nonprofit organizations are making.
Is your organization working on an innovative idea to further its mission by using technology? Tell us! And, keep your eyes open for updates on the 2018 Tech Forward Conference coming soon!
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