USU Student Competition Tackles Food Insecurity

By Shelby Ruud Jarman | September 26, 2023


USU Students

The Utah State University Hunger Solutions Institute hosts NourishTank, a biannual student competition to help combat food insecurity with unique, innovative, and sustainable solutions.  

Teams of emerging entrepreneurs and change-makers are encouraged to compete in a SharkTank-style event to showcase their groundbreaking ideas that tackle food insecurity and malnutrition. Students at USU campuses statewide are invited to participate in the competition. Application deadline is October 6 at midnight.

“Food is a basic human right, and yet so many people suffer from food insecurity,” said Palak Gupta, co-director of the USU Hunger Solutions Institute. “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 money on food, medicine, paying rent, or other bills. One in every 11 Utahns has to make these decisions every day.”

Five teams will be chosen to present their ideas to a panel of judges and awarded $200 each. A judging panel of industry experts will select one team as the grand prize winner to receive $1,000. 

“There is a unique energy and enthusiasm among college students that creates a powerful environment to address the issue of food insecurity,” said Ashley Sullivan, Hunger Solutions Institute event planner. “There is an eagerness to make a positive impact on the world. I really believe that combining varying backgrounds, experiences, and expertise will produce some neat, innovative ideas.”

Sponsors of this event include the USU College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences, USU Extension, the Aggie Chocolate Factory, and USU Dining Services.

To learn more or to submit an application, visit