Ten semifinalists will compete for $10,000 in funding by pitching solutions to get New Orleanians healthier, more active and better nourished.
The PitchNOLA: Living Well competition will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 21, at the Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation business incubator at 4035 Washington Ave. in New Orleans.
“As we deepen our impact in the sectors of food security and health care, we’re excited for this year’s PitchNOLA Living Well semifinalists who show exceptional potential to solve our city’s health disparities,” Propeller Executive Director Andrea Chen said.
- WeRunNOLA Maps, being presented by Youth Run NOLA, supports healthy habits through safe running routes from community and school sites and has an online community.
- Community Plates, being presented by Lauren Rudzis, plans to use technology and volunteers to transfer to families in need fresh, usable food that would have been thrown away by restaurants, markets and other food industry sources.
- Lower 9th Ward Market, being presented by Burnell Cotlon, who is trying to rebuild his community with a full-service grocery store, among several other businesses.
- How’s Your 5? Coping Cube, being presented by Doug Walker, are Rubik’s Cube-like public mental health tools that promote mental wellness through conversations that assess mental well-being among family, friends and health care providers.
- Clear Health Analytics, being presented by Kathryn Wollan, helps consumers make smarter health insurance decisions by providing cost comparison information.
- The Urban Farmstead, being presented by Jordan Bantuelle, is an educational center that teaches homesteading skills and permaculture design, while also providing vegetables and starter plants through its sister organization, Southbound Gardens.
- NOLA Milk Bank, being presented by Latona Giwa and Neha Dubli, provides donor breast milk and breast-feeding support.
- School Health Assessment & Initiative, being presented by Leah Jensen, will develop a campuswide health assessment and initiative to support healthy students to increase individual academic performance.
- GRoW on the Go, being presented by Danielle Burrell, proposes a fleet of recreation and nutrition education trucks that involve low-income children and families in activities and classes to help them eat healthier, move more and connect with other youth services.
- New Orleans Food Literacy Initiative, being presented by Adam Aronovitz and Alissa Bilfield, involves The Cookbook Project, a nonprofit that helps youth be catalysts for healthy communities through food literacy and cooking education.
Seed funding for the competition is provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Prizes will be awarded by a panel of judges, including John Elstrott, chairman of Whole Foods Market, and Dr. Joe Kanter, medical director of the New Orleans Health Department.
Partners in PitchNOLA: Living Well are Alliance for Walking & Biking, Louisiana Public Health Institute,Tulane’s Prevention Research Center, LSU, Ochsner Health System, Institute for Mental Hygiene, Market Umbrella and The Rethinkers.