USU Students Succeed at Nourishtank Competition

By Shelby Ruud Jarman | November 2, 2023



A team of Utah State University students recently won a competition designed to combat food insecurity with unique, innovative, and sustainable solutions. NourishTank, a student competition hosted by the USU Hunger Solutions Institute, is a SharkTank-style event designed to foster innovation, collaboration, and sustainable solutions to combat hunger. 

Saydee Longhurst, Macey Bunn, and Lisa Hunsaker created a plan with groundbreaking ideas to tackle food insecurity that placed them as the winners.

Their project, Farm 2 Fork Goes Mobile, is a fresh food truck designed to deliver produce donated from local farmers and community households to students and families at Provo Title I schools. Students who receive food from the truck will also receive nutrition education emphasizing the importance of healthy eating habits. 

“It was amazing to be in the presence of so many people who are also passionate about fighting food insecurity in our community,” Bunn said. “I was grateful to be able to present our program in front of judges who could envision our dream and encourage us to move forward. We are so passionate about food insecurity and are excited to take the steps to put our program into action.” 

Twenty-eight students, making up 11 teams and representing 19 fields of study, entered the competition. Five of the 11 teams were selected to present their ideas before a panel of judges, which included Josh Soffe, director of FJ Management; Dean Ken White of the USU College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences; Spencer Gibbons, CEO of the Utah Farm Bureau; Rashel Clark, health and wellness manager of Dairy West; and Sahara Hayes, a Utah House Representative. 

While this is the first time for the event, it was deemed successful and will be held every other year moving forward.

“The energy and passion with which the five finalist teams addressed food insecurity was inspiring,” said Ashley Sullivan, Hunger Solutions Institute event planner. “They came from different backgrounds and expertise and came up with really incredible ideas. I am looking forward to seeing the winning idea, along with the other concepts, come to life to create a meaningful, positive impact.”

According to Palak Gupta, co-director of the USU Hunger Solutions Institute, one in every 11 Utahns deals with food insecurity.

“Food is a basic human right, yet so many people suffer from food insecurity,” she said. “Being food insecure affects nearly every aspect of life – imagine its effect on physical, mental and emotional health when someone has to make the difficult decision of choosing to spend their limited amount of money on food or medicine, or paying rent or other bills.” 

The USU Hunger Solutions Institute is an integrated academic, Extension, and community organization that generates educational and societal solutions to hunger. Click here to learn more about the Hunger Solutions Institute.